Skip to main content

Full text of "The bishops of Winchester : part I, Birinus to Stigand"

See other formats

The  Bishops  of  Winchester: 




BY    THE    LATE 

VERY    REV.    W.    R.    WOOD    STEPHENS,    D.D.,  F.S.A. 

Dean  of  Winchester. 

$art  II. 



THE     REV.     W.     W.     CAPES,     M.A. 
Canon  of  Hereford. 

\Reprinted  by  permission  from  the  "  Winchester  Diocesan  Chronicle."] 

TSHhtrljfster : 

If  onion : 


The  Arms  of  the  See  of  Winchester. 

HJW25W  ^ 

PREFACE    TO    PART    I. 

THESE  chapters  on  the  early  Bishops  of  Winchester  were  contributed 
to  the  Diocesan  Chronicle  at  intervals  during  the  years  1901  and  1902. 
It  was  the  intention  of  Dean  Stephens  to  complete  the  series  as  he 
could  find  time,  and  he  had  readily  responded  to  the  suggestion  of  the 
Editor  that  the  articles  should  be  written  in  such  a  form  as  to  admit 
of  their  being  eventually  reproduced  in  a  convenient  volume,  to  meet 
the  want  of  a  short  and  trustworthy  account  of  the  many  eminent 
men  who  have  occupied  the  See.  Only  a  small  part  of  this  design, 
alas  !  has  he  been  permitted  to  carry  out,  and  we  must  especially 
lament  the  fact  that  the  story  breaks  off  just  as  he  was  about  to 
enter  upon  those  times  which  he  had  made  peculiarly  his  own.  These 
few  pages,  however,  so  far  complete  a  period,  that  it  has  been  decided 
to  publish  them.  Those  who  have  read  the  series  in  the  Diocesan 
Chronicle  will  be  glad  of  the  opportunity  of  possessing  it  in  a  separate 
form,  while  the  little  volume  will  be  felt  generally  to  have  a  sad 
and  special  interest  at  this  time,  the  correction  of  the  proof  of  the 
concluding  chapter,  on  November  27th,  being  one  of  the  last  things 
which  can  have  employed  the  ever  busy  pen  of  him  whom  we 
have  lost. 

F.  T.  M 


January  3rd,   1003. 

PREFACE     TO     PART     II. 

AFTER  the  lamented  death  of  Dean  Stephens,  his  friend,  the 
Rev.  W.  W.  Capes,  then  Honorary  Canon  of  Winchester,  kindly 
undertook  to  continue  the  series  of  papers  in  the  Diocesan  Chronicle 
on  the  Bishops  of  Winchester.  He  did  not  allow  his  subsequent 
appointment  to  a  Residentiary  Canonry  in  Hereford  Cathedral  to 
interfere  with  the  punctual  performance  of  his  promise  to  his  old 

The  Trustees  and  Editor  of  the  Diocesan  Chronicle  feel  that  a 
contribution  of  permanent  value  has  been  made  to  the  History  of 
the  Diocese,  and  that  they  can  best  acknowledge  their  obligation  to 
the  Authors  of  these  Articles  by  reprinting  them  all  in  book  shape. 

It  will  be  seen  that  the  form  of  the  book  has  been  con- 
ditioned not  only  by  the  type  as  originally  used,  and  by  the 
printing  of  the  sheets  at  intervals,  but  by  the  fact  that  the  first  part 
was  issued  separately  in  1903. 

So  much  interest  has  of  late  years  centred  on  Bishop  Gardiner, 
that  Mr.  Maiden's  account  of  his  relations  with  his  College  is 

F.    T.    M. 


March,   1907. 

CONTENTS     OF     PART     I. 


THE  CONVERSION  OF  WESSEX           ...           ...           ...           ...           ...  3 

DIVISION  OF  THE  WEST  SAXON  DIOCESE      ...           ...           ...           ...  6 

THE  SEE  OF  WINCHESTER,  FROM  A.D.  745  TO  A.D.  862          ...           ...  9 

THE  BISHOPS  OF  WINCHESTER  IN  A  DARK  AGE,  A.D.  862  TO  A.D.  963  n 

THE  LEADER  OF  MONASTIC  REFORM             ...           ...           ...            ...  14 


STIGAND,  A.D.  1047 — 1070    ...           ...           ...           ...           ...           ...  19 

CONTENTS     OF     PART     II. 


WALKELIN               ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  i 

WILLIAM  GIFFARD...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  5 

HENRY  OF  BLOIS    ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  10 

RICHARD  OF  ILCHESTER  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  15 

GODFREY  DE  LUCY  ...  ...  ...  ...  19 

PETER  DE  ROCHES  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  22 

WILLIAM  DE  RALEIGH  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  27 

ETHELMAR  DE  LUSIGNAN  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  31 

JOHN  OF  EXETER    ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  34 

NICHOLAS  OF  ELY...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  37 

JOHN  DE  PONTOISE  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  40 

HENRY  WOODLOCK  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  43 

JOHN  DE  SANDALE  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  46 

RlGAUD    DE    ASSIER  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  49 

JOHN  DE  STRATFORD  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  51 

ADAM  DE  ORLETON  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  56 

WILLIAM  DE  EDYNDONE  ...  ...  ...  ...  59 

WILLAM  OF  WYKEHAM  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  61 

HENRY  BEAUFORT  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  65 

WILLIAM  OF  WAYNFLETE  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  68 

PETER  COURTENAY  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  71 

THOMAS  LANGTON  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  73 

RICHARD  FOXE       ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  75 

RICHARD  FOXE— His  TOMB  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  77 

THOMAS  WOLSEY    ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  79 

STEPHEN  GARDINER  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  82 



Tt>    FACE    PAGE 

STATUE  OF  ST.  HACDDE       ...  ...  ...  4 

A.D.  854       ...  ... 

STATUE  OF  ST.  ^ETHELWOLD          ...  ...  ...  16 

STATUE  OF  ARCHBISHOP  STIGAND  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...         *o 

THE  NORTH  TRANSEPT  OF  THE  CATHEDRAL  ...  ...        Frontispiece 



WYKEHAM  AND  CARDINAL  BEAUFORT            ...           ...           ...  4 

ARCHES  OF  BISHOP  HENRY'S  TREASURY      ...           ...           ...           ...  10 

ENSHRINED  HEART  OF  BISHOP  NICOLAS     ...           ...           ...           ...  39 

PORTRAIT  OF  BISHOP  WILLIAM  OF  WYKEHAM,  AND  TOMB  ...           ...  61 


BISHOP  GARDINER    ...          ...           ...           ...           ..           ...  65 

CHANTRY  OF  BISHOP  FOXE             ...          ...           ...          ...          ...  75 


CDe  Bishops  of  Winchester. 



VERY    REV.    W.    R.    WOOD    STEPHENS,    D.D.,  F.S.A. 

Dean  of  Winchester. 

tlbe  Btebops  of  Mtncbester. 

The  Conversion  of  Wessex. 

The  first  five  Bishops  of  the  West  Saxons : — 
Birinus,  634;  Agilbert,  650 ;  Wine,  662; 
Leutherius  (Lot here),  670  ;  Hadde,  676. 

The  conversion  of  England  to  the  Christ- 
ian faith  occupied  a  period  of  eighty-three 
years.  The  process  was  necessarily  very 
gradual,  because  the  country  in  the  seventh 
century  was  divided  between  several  king- 
doms. The  course  of  missionary  enterprise 
was  determined  rather  by  the  political  or 
social  relations  of  the  several  kingdoms 
than  by  their  geographical  position.  Thus 
while  Kent  was  the  first  to  embrace  Christ- 
ianity, its  nearer  neighbour,  the  South 
Saxon  kingdom  was  the  last.  Just  as  rivers 
take  strange  windings  and  turnings  by 
reason  of  the  obstacles  which  they  en- 
counter, so  the  progress  of  Christianity 
was  diverted  out  of  a  straight  course  by 
coming  into  contact  here  and  there  with 
some  kingdom  which  remained  obdurately 

Rochester  was  the  second  Episcopal  See 
founded  in  England  (A.D.  604),  because  it 
was  the  chief  town  of  the  West  Kentings, 
a  tribal  division,  if  not  a  small  kingdom, 
which  was  subject  to  jEthelbert,  the  first 
Christian  King  of  Kent.  London  was  the 
third  See  (A.D.  604),  because  Sigebert, 
King  of  the  East  Saxons,  who  was  a 
nephew  of  ^Cthelbert,  readily  adopted  for 
himself  and  his  people  the  religion  of  his 
uncle.  The  fourth  See  was  York  (A.D.  625), 
the  Northumbrian  King  Eadwine  having 
married  the  Christian  daughter  of  ^Ethel- 
bert,  who  took  with  her  as  her  Chaplain  to 
her  northern  home  Paulinus,  one  of  the 
Italian  companions  of  St.  Augustine.  Nei- 
ther the  West  Saxon  nor  the  South  Saxon 
Kingdoms  were  connected  with  Kent  by 
political  or  matrimonial  ties.  Sussex  re- 
mained in  heathen  darkness  until  an  unex- 
pected visit  of  the  Northumbrian  St.  Wil- 
frith  in  A.D.  680. 

The  West  Saxons  owed  their  conversion 
to  one  who  was  in  no  way  connected  either 
with  St.  Augustine  and  his  companions,  or 
with  the  missionaries  of  the  Scottish  School 
who  did  so  much  for  the  propagation  of 
Christianity  in  the  Northern  and  Midland 
parts  of  England. 

The  nationality  of  Birinus,  the  apostle  of 
Wessex,  is  uncertain  :  that  he  was  a  Roman 
monk  of  St.  Andrew's,  the  original  home  of 
St.  Augustine,  is  a  mere  tradition. 

He  came  to  England  by  the  advice  of 
Pope  Honorius,  having  promised  in  his 
presence  that  he  would  scatter  the  seeds 
of  the  holy  faith  in  the  very  heart  of  the 
English  territory  which  no  teacher  had 
hitherto  visited.  By  the  direction  of  Hono- 
rius, he  was  consecrated  Bishop  by  Asterius, 
Archbishop  of  Milan,  who  was  at  that  time 
residing  at  Genoa,  as  had  been  the  custom 
of  his  predecessors  since  A.D.  568,  in  order 
to  avoid  contact  with  the  Lombards,  who 
were  Arians.  He  landed  A.D.  634  in  the 
country  of  the  Gewissas,  and  finding  that 
they  were  intensely  heathen,  "  paganissi- 
mos,"  he  decided  to  begin  his  missionary 
work  among  them  before  proceeding  any 
further.  Like  Augustine,  Paulinus,  and 
other  missionaries,  he  sought  the  king, 
Cynegils,  who  was  more  speedily  converted 
by  his  teaching  than  vEthelbert  had  been 
by  Augustine  or  Eadwine  by  Paulinus. 
Cynegils  had  reigned  twenty-four  years, 
and  was  probably  weary  of  war  and  blood- 
shed. He  had  been  victorious  over  the 
Britons,  and  had  pushed  the  West  Saxon 
kingdom  further  westward ;  but  it  had  been 
overrun  by  the  Northumbrian  Eadwine, 
and  been  threatened  by  the  Mercian  king 
Penda.  Oswald,  the  successor  of  Eadwine, 
sought  alliance  with  Cynegils,  probably 
with  a  view  to  checking  the  Mercian 
aggression.  A  marriage  was  arranged  be- 
tween him  and  the  daughter  of  Cynegils, 
and  a  visit  which  he  paid  to  the  West 
Saxon  king  at  Dorchester,  near  Oxford,  to 


celebrate  his  marriage,  coincided  with  the 
conversion  of  Cynegils.  Cynegils  was  bap- 
tized by  Birinus,  and  Oswald  acted  as  his 
godfather,  taking  him  by  the  hand,  as  was 
the  custom  on  such  occasions,  and  leading 
him  up  out  of  the  font  in  which  he  had 
been  immersed.  Thus,  as  Bede  says,  he 
"  became  by  a  sacred  alliance  the  father  of 
him  whose  son  he  was  about  to  be  through 
marriage  with  his  daughter." 

Oswald  and  Cynegils  united  in  making 
Birinus  Bishop  of  Dorchester.  The  See 
thus  planted  in  the  little  village  by  the 
Thames  became  the  parent  of  the  great 
Bishoprics  of  Winchester  and  Lincoln. 
From  Dorchester  Birinus  went  about  Wes- 
sex,  and  built  and  dedicated  many  churches, 
and  by  his  pious  labours  converted  many 
to  the  Lord. 

He  baptized  Cwichelm,  the  son  of  Cyne- 
gils, and  Cuthred  his  grandson  in  A.D.  639. 
Cwichelm  died  before  his  father,  and  the 
crown  passed  to  his  younger  brother,  Cen- 
wealh.  He  had  married  a  daughter  of 
Penda,  the  heathen  king  of  Mercia,  and 
refused  to  follow  his  father's  and  brother's 
example  in  accepting  the  Christian  faith. 
It  was  a  critical  moment  for  Christianity 
in  Wessex.  But,  in  the  words  of  Bede,  he 
who  rejected  the  heavenly  kingdom  pre- 
sently lost  his  earthly  one. 

He  put  away  his  queen  and  took  another 
wife.  Penda  sought  to  avenge  the  insult 
by  invading  the  West  Saxon  kingdom, 
A.D.  642.  Cenwealh  sought  refuge  in  flight 
to  East  Anglia,  where  he  sojourned  three 
years  in  the  court  of  Anna  the  king.  Anna 
and  his  family  were  devout  Christians,  and 
under  their  influence  Cenwealh  embraced 
the  faith.  In  A.D.  648,  with  the  aid  of  his 
nephew  Cuthred,  he  regained  his  kingdom, 
and  one  of  his  first  acts  was  to  build  a 
Church  at  Winchester,  which  Birinus  con- 
secrated. Two  years  afterwards  Birinus 
died  and  was  buried  at  Dorchester,  where 
the  beautiful  old  Church  of  St.  Peter  and 
St.  Paul  probably  marks  the  spot  on  which 
Cynegils  was  baptized,  and  the  original 
Church  of  Birinus  was  built.  Meanwhile 
the  court  of  Cenwealh  had  been  visited  by 

a  bishop  named  Agilbert,  a  native  of  Gaul, 
who  had  been  studying  for  some  years  in 
Ireland,  which  was  at  that  time  a  great 
centre  of  learning  and  religion.  Cenwealh, 
appreciating  his  piety  and  erudition,  placed 
him  in  the  See  of  Dorchester,  which  he 
administered  for  ten  years.  But  it  seems 
that  the  Bishop  never  mastered  the  West 
Saxon  language  :  the  king  becoming  weary 
of  his  foreign  speech,  secretly  imported 
another  bishop  named  Wine,  who  could 
talk  Saxon  although  he  had  been  ordained 
in  Gaul. 

Cenwealh  placed  Wine  in  the  royal  city 
of  Winchester,  thus  dividing  his  kingdom 
into  two  dioceses,  with  one  See  at  Dor- 
chester and  another  at  Winchester.  Agil- 
bert being  highly  offended  at  this  proceed- 
ing, in  which  he  had  not  been  consulted, 
withdrew  to  Northumbria,  where  we  find 
him  present  at  the  Synod  of  Whitby  in 
A.D.  664,  and  about  two  years  afterwards 
he  retired  to  Gaul,  where  he  became  bishop 
of  Paris. 

The  most  interesting  event  in  the  epis- 
copate of  Wine  was  the  consecration  of 
Ceadda  (St.  Chad),  abbot  of  Lastingham, 
to  the  See  of  York.  Ceadda  was  a  disciple 
of  Aidan,  and  therefore  belonged  to  the 
Celtic  or  Scottish  School  of  Churchmen, 
but  he  had  adopted  the  customs  of  the 
Latin  Church.  He  came  south  for  conse- 
cration, and  the  See  of  Canterbury  being 
vacant,  he  sought  the  rite  at  the  hands  of 
Wine.  In  celebrating  it  Wine  associated 
with  himself  two  bishops  of  British  race — 
probably  from  Cornwall. 

Thus  the  Cathedral  Church  of  Win- 
chester became  the  scene  of  an  act  which 
was  a  definite  step  in  the  direction  of 
bringing  about  a  union  between  the  English 
and  the  British  Churches,  which  had  hither- 
to been  divided  on  various  questions  of 
liturgical  usage.  Christianity  had  clearly 
softened  the  relations  between  the  two 
races — conquerors  and  conquered — in  the 
West  of  England.  The  act  of  Wine  illus- 
trates also  a  certain  independence,  not  to 
say  isolation,  of  the  West  Saxon  Church, 
of  which  the  first  three  bishops  had  all 

Statue  of  St.  Hxdde, 

By  permission  of  the  publishers  of  The  Great  Screen  of  Winchester  Cathedral. 


been  consecrated  abroad.  A  bishop  in 
close  connexion  with  Canterbury  would  not 
have  ventured  to  invite  the  co-operation 
of  British  bishops  in  an  act  of  consecration, 
as  the  Celtic  rite  differed  in  certain  respects 
from  the  Roman.  And  as  a  matter  of  fact 
the  consecration  of  Chad  was  considered 
irregular,  because  Wine  was  held  to  be  an 
intruder,  and  further  to  have  committed  an 
error  in  associating  with  himself  bishops 
who  were  regarded  as  schismatical.  Wine 
at  any  rate  did  not  rise  above  the  moral 
standard  of  the  day,  for  he  was  not  proof 
against  simony,  the  peculiar  vice  of  the 
Church  in  Gaul  where  he  had  been  conse- 
crated. For  some  reason  unrecorded,  Cen- 
wealh  took  a  dislike  to  him  as  he  had  to 
Agilbert,  and  expelled  him  from  his  king- 
dom. He  took  refuge  in  Mercia,  and  bought 
the  See  of  London  from  King  Wulfhere, 
who  had  established  his  supremacy  over 
the  East  Saxons. 

The  West  Saxon  See  remained  vacant 
for  four  years".  At  the  expiration  of  this 
period,  Cenwealh,  who  had  been  much 
harassed  by  his  enemies,  and  had  suffered 
heavy  losses,  was  seized  with  remorse,  and 
sent  messengers  to  Agilbert,  now  bishop  of 
Paris,  inviting  him  to  return  to  his  old 
diocese.  Agilbert  not  unnaturally  refused 
to  abandon  his  new  charge,  but  recom- 
mended his  nephew  Leutherius  or  Lothere, 
a  presbyter,  as  well  worthy  to  be  conse- 
crated bishop  of  the  West  Saxon  See. 
Lothere  was  respectfully  received  by  the 
king  and  his  people,  and  was  duly  conse- 
crated in  the  Cathedral  at  Winchester  by 
Theodore,  Archbishop  of  Canterbury. 

Lothere,  who  died  in  A.D.  676,  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Hasdde,  who  was  consecrated  by 
Theodore  at  London.  He  is  described  by 
Bede  as  a  good  and  upright  man,  who 
adorned  the  episcopal  office  rather  by  his 
natural  inborn  goodness  than  by  learning. 
But  he  was  the  friend  of  learned  men, 
foremost  amongst  whom  was  Ealdhelm 
(St.  Aldhelm),  at  that  time  Abbot  of  Mal- 
mesbury,  who  in  writing  to  him  about  law, 
mathematics,  and  other  branches  of  learn- 
ing, addresses  him  as  his  "peculiar  patron." 
Haedde  translated  the  remains  of  Birinus 

from  Dorchester  to  Winchester,  thus  de- 
priving Dorchester  of  its  last  pretensions  to 
Cathedral  rank,  and  definitely  fixing  the 
West  Saxon  See  in  the  Church  of  St.  Peter 
and  Paul  at  Winchester.  Birinus  was 
canonized  in  popular  estimation,  and  for 
centuries  miracles  were  supposed  to  be 
wrought  at  his  tomb. 

Cenwealh  had  died  in  A.D.  672,  and  the 
government  of  Wessex  seems  to  have 
lapsed  for  some  years  into  the  hands  of 
Ealdormen.  Coedwalla,  a  member  of  the 
Royal  house,  was  expelled,  but  in  A.D.  685 
he  "  began  to  strive  for  the  kingdom."  In 
A.D.  686  he  conquered  the  South  Saxon 
kingdom  and  the  Isle  of  Wight,  and  recov- 
ered the  West  Saxon  throne.  During  the 
period  of  unsettlement,  Haedde  refused  to 
comply  with  an  order  of  Archbishop  Berht- 
wald,  that  the  diocese  should  be  divided. 
In  A.D.  704  the  West  Saxons  were  threat- 
ened with  excommunication  by  a  national 
Synod  unless  they  complied  with  the  decree. 

The  death  of  Haedde  in  A.D.  705,  and  the 
settlement  of  the  kingdom  under  Ine,  re- 
moved the  difficulty,  and  with  King  Ine's 
consent  the  diocese  was  divided  by  a 
synodical  decree.  A  new  See  was  planted 
at  Sherborne,  with  a  diocese  to  include  all 
the  country  west  of  Selwood  Forest.  This 
comprised  Dorset  and  part  of  Wilts,  and 
as  much  of  Somerset  and  Devon  as  had 
been  conquered  from  the  Welsh.  All  the 
West  Saxon  territory  east  of  the  forest 
remained  to  the  See  of  Winchester.  This 
included  Hampshire,  Berkshire,  Surrey,  and 
part  of  Wilts,  and  Sussex,  until  four  years 
later  (A.D.  709)  a  separate  See  was  created 
for  the  South  Saxons  at  Selsey. 

The  authorities  are  not  consistent  in 
their  accounts  of  the  boundaries  between 
the  two  dioceses.  The  A.  S.  Chronicle 
(A.D.  709)  distinctly  says  that  St.  Aldhelm, 
the  first  bishop  of  Sherborne,  was  bishop 
west  of  Selwood,  and  Athelweard  (Man. 
Hist.  Brit.,  p.  50)  calls  his  diocese  Sel- 
woodshire.  Their  statements  are  followed 
by  Henry  of  Huntingdon,  p.  no. 

William  of  Malmesbury,  on  the  other 
hand  (Gest.  Pont.,  pp.  175-2^5),  assigns 


Wiltshire  and  Berkshire  also  to  the  See  of 
Sherborne,  in  addition  to  Somerset,  Devon 
and  Cornwall,  and  criticises  the  arrange- 
ment as  a  very  unequal  division.  To  Sher- 
borne itself  he  is  extremely  uncompliment- 
ary, describing  it  as  an  insignificant  spot 
not  agreeable  either  from  the  number  of 
inhabitants  or  pleasantness  of  situation,  and 
declares  that  it  was  a  marvel,  almost  a 
shame,  that  it  should  have  remained  an 
episcopal  See  for  so  many  years. 

Division  of  the  West  Saxon  Diocese. 

Daniel,  Bishop  of  Winchester  A.D.  705-744; 
St.  Aldhelm,  Bishop  of  Sherborne  A.D. 

Bishop  Daniel,  the  successor  of  Haedde 
in  the  See  of  Winchester,  was  a  good  and 
learned  man,  and  under  his  influence,  and 
that  of  the  still  more  learned  and  saintly 
Ealdhelm  (St.  Aldhelm),  the  first  Bishop  of 
Sherborne,  Christianity  made  great  progress 
in  the  West  Saxon  kingdom. 

Ealdhelm  was  connected  with  a  royal 
house  of  Wessex,  and  may  have  been  a 
son  of  King  Centwine,  who  died  in  685. 
In  childhood  he  was  entrusted  to  the  care 
of  an  Irish  monk,  named  Maildubh,  who 
had  formed  a  little  monastic  settlement  hard 
by  the  old  castle  of  Ingelborne  in  the  upper 
valley  of  the  Avon,  a  spot  to  which  he  had 
been  attracted  by  the  charms  of  the  neigh- 
bouring wood,  which  offered  shelter  and 
seclusion.  After  a  time  Ealdhelm  was  sent 
for  further  instruction  to  the  school  which 
Archbishop  Theodore  had  instituted  at 
Canterbury,  and  had  placed  under  the  care 
of  the  learned  African,  Abbot  Hadrian, 
whom  he  had  brought  from  Italy.  This 
school  gave  quite  a  new  impulse  to  learn- 
ing in  England.  Latin,  Greek,  and  even 
Hebrew  were  taught  there,  together  with 
astronomy,  music,  and  medicine.  Ealdhelm 
astonished  his  master  by  the  quickness  with 
which  he  attained  to  proficiency  in  these 
studies,  especially  languages.  He  returned 
to  his  old  home  for  a  time,  and  earned  his 
living  there  by  teaching.  Then  he  paid  a 

second  visit  to  Canterbury  and  continued 
his  studies  until  a  breakdown  in  his  health 
compelled  him  to  leave.  Again  he  rejoined 
the  little  brotherhood  under  Maildubh,  and 
in  675  became  Abbot,  having  been  ordained 
Priest  by  Leutherius,  Bishop  of  Winchester. 
Students  now  flocked  to  him  from  all 
quarters,  some  attracted  by  his  piety,  others 
by  his  learning,  and  the  lowly  settlement  of 
Maildubh  grew  into  a  large  and  wealthy 
monastery,  which  under  the  name  of 
Malmesbury  perpetuated  the  memory  of 
its  founder.  West  Saxon  and  Mercian 
nobles  conferred  gifts  upon  the  house  ; 
King  Ine  also  became  one  of  its  benefactors, 
and  at  the  instigation  of  Ealdhelm  he  built 
a  stone  church  at  Glastonbury.  Ealdhelm 
corresponded  with  distinguished  scholars  in 
all  parts  of  Europe.  Pope  Sergius  heard 
of  his  fame  and  invited  him  to  Rome, 
where  he  permitted  him  to  celebrate  Mass 
in  the  Lateran  Church.  The  Pope  also 
granted  privileges  to  his  monasteries,  and 
gave  him  a  store  of  relics,  and  an  altar 
of  white  marble.  Several  of  Ealdhelm's 
writings  have  been  preserved,  and  may  be 
read  in  Mi%n£s  Patrologia,  vol.  Ixxxix. 
His  Latin  treatise  on  the  praise  of  virginity, 
addressed  to  the  Abbess  of  Barking,  and 
his  poem  on  the  same  subject,  are  somewhat 
involved  in  style,  and  abound  in  Greek  words 
Latinized.  This,  however,  was  the  fashion 
of  the  age,  and  William  of  Malmesbury 
says  that  Ealdhelm  indulged  in  it  more 
sparingly  than  most  writers.  His  letters, 
and  some  of  his  Latin  verses,  are  much 
simpler  and  more  natural  ;  his  English 
poems,  which  unfortunately  are  few,  were 
favourites  with  King  Alfred. 

William  of  Malmesbury  relates  on  the 
authority  of  King  Alfred's  "  Handbook,"  an 
incident  which  shows  how  Ealdhelm  turned 
his  musical  and  poetical  gifts  to  good 
account.  Finding  that  many  of  the  people 
were  negligent  of  attendance  at  Mass  or 
hurried  home  before  it  was  concluded  with- 
out waiting  for  the  sermon,  he  used  to 
station  himself  on  the  bridge  over  the 
Avon  and  gather  a  crowd  about  him  by 
singing  a  lively  song,  and  when  he  had 
charmed  his  hearers  in  this  way  and  secured 


their  attention,  he  would  gradually  glide 
into  a  graver  strain,  and  lead  up  their 
thoughts  to  higher  things. 

The  scholar,  poet,  and  musician  was  also 
a  great  builder.  He  did  not  meddle  with 
the  little  basilica  which  Maildubh  had  built, 
but  by  the  side  of  it  he  erected  a  much 
larger  church  dedicated  to  St.  Peter  and 
St.  Paul.  He  also  built  two  other  churches 
in  Malmesbury,  one  of  which,  dedicated  to 
St.  Mary,  survived  unaltered  to  the  days  of 
William  of  Malmesbury  in  the  latter  part 
of  the  twelfth  century,  notwithstanding  the 
rage  for  pulling  down  and  rebuilding  which 
prevailed  after  the  Norman  Conquest. 
William  says  that  it  surpassed  in  beauty 
and  size  all  the  churches  that  had  been 
built  in  England  before  the  coming  of  the 
Normans.  No  expense  was  spared  in  the 
purchase  of  stone  and  timber  for  its  con- 
struction. One  of  the  beams  which  proved 
to  be  too  short  was  miraculously  lengthened 
through  the  prayer  of  the  holy  man,  and 
this  particular  beam  escaped  injury  in  two 
destructive  fires  which  occurred  in  the  reigns 
of  Alfred  and  his  son  Eadward.  Besides 
building  churches  at  Bruton  and  Wareham 
and  the  Cathedral  Church  at  Sherborne, 
Ealdhelm  also  founded  and  ruled  two 
monastic  houses  with  their  churches  at 
Frome  and  Bradford -on -Avon.  At  the 
latter  place  the  little  church  (ecdesiola) 
dedicated  to  St.  Lawrence,  which  William 
of  Malmesbury  mentions  as  existing  in  his 
day,  was  discovered  not  many  years  ago 
buried  in  modern  buildings,  and  having 
been  released  from  these  encumbrances  it 
now  stands  out  as  one  of  the  most  perfect 
and  interesting  specimens  of  that  primitive 
Romanesque  style  in  which  our  Saxon  fore- 
fathers were  accustomed  to  build. 

A  letter  which  Ealdhelm  wrote  to 
Geraint,  the  British  king  of  Dyfnaint 
(Devon  and  Cornwall),  is  said  by  Bede 
(H.E.  lib.  v.,  c.  1 8)  to  have  induced  many 
members  of  the  old  British  Church  to  adopt 
the  Latin  rule  with  regard  to  the  date  of 
Easter,  the  style  of  tonsure,  and  other 
usages.  After  he  became  bishop  of  Sher- 
borne, he  proposed  to  place  his  monasteries 

under  the  rule  of  abbots,  but  the  monks 
begged  him  to  carry  on  his  administration 
as  long  as  he  lived,  and  he  assented  to  their 
petition.  Animated  by  a  truly  evangelistic 
spirit  he  was  accustomed  to  make  progresses 
up  and  down  his  diocese  on  foot,  preaching 
by  night  as  well  as  by  day.  He  was 
engaged  on  one  of  these  missionary  journeys 
(A.D.  709)  when  he  fell  sick  at  Doulting, 
near  Wells,  and  here  he  died  in  the  little 
wooden  church'  into  which  he  had  been 
carried  by  his  own  desire.  His  body  was 
conveyed  to  Malmesbury  for  burial,  a  stone 
cross  being  erected  at  every  halting-place 
along  the  route. 

Of  course,  after  the  fashion  of  the  age, 
Ealdhelm  was  credited  with  the  power  of 
working  all  manner  of  miracles  both  during 
his  life  and  after  his  death  ;  but  the  largest 
amount  of  legendary  matter  always  gathers 
round  the  greatest  characters,  just  as  clouds 
are  attracted  to  the  highest  mountain 
tops,  and  there  is  abundant  evidence,  apart 
from  legend,  to  prove  that  Ealdhelm  was  a 
man  of  pre-eminent  ability,  learning,  and 
holiness.  He  was  indeed  a  noble  example 
of  a  scholar  who  valued  learning  mainly  as 
an  instrument  for  acquiring  a  deeper  know- 
ledge of  Holy  Scripture.  "  Devote  your 
time,"  he  says  in  a  letter  to  a  young  student, 
"  to  prayer  and  the  study  of  the  Scriptures  : 
and  if  you  desire  to  occupy  yourself  with 
secular  literature  let  it  be  chiefly  for  the 
purpose  of  understanding  more  intimately 
the  sacred  text,  the  sense  of  which  depends 
almost  everywhere  upon  a  thorough  ac- 
quaintance with  the  rules  of  grammar." 
He  was  the  author  of  the  forcible  terse 
description  of  the  advantages  of  Bible- 
reading  and  prayer.  "  In  reading  God 
speaks  to  me  ;  in  prayer  I  speak  to  God." 

Within  the  district  which  once  formed 
his  diocese  four  churches  still  bear  his 
name :  Bishopstrow,  Broadway,  Doulting 
(the  place  where  he  died),  and  the  Abbey 
Church  of  Malmesbury. 

The  creation  of  the  See  of  Sherborne 
was  the  first  division  of  the  great  West 
Saxon  diocese.  With  the  growth  of  the 
kingdom  other  divisions  were  made  as  we 



shall  presently  see.  Daniel,  bishop  of 
Winchester,  consented  in  709  to  the  estab- 
lishment of  a  separate  diocese  for  the  South 
Saxons  with  its  See  at  Selsey.  At  the  same 
time,  perhaps  as  some  compensation  for 
this  loss  of  territory,  he  succeeded  in 
annexing  the  Isle  of  Wight  to  his  diocese, 
the  islanders  having  been  hitherto  un- 
attached to  any  bishopric  since  their  con- 
version by  Wilfrith  in  686. 

Daniel,  like  Ealdhelm,  had  been  a  disciple 
of  Maildubh,  and  was  only  second  to  Eald- 
helm himself  in  learning  and  energy.  To 
him  Bede  tells  us  (Preface  to  his  Ecclesias- 
tical History)  he  was  indebted  for  his 
information  respecting  the  beginnings  of 
Christianity  in  Wessex,  Sussex,  and  the 
Isle  of  Wight.  He  was  the  friend  and 
counsellor  of  the  great  and  good  Winfrith, 
better  known  as  St.  Boniface  the  Apostle 
and  Martyr  of  Germany,  who  at  the  time 
of  Daniel's  consecration  was  a  young  monk 
in  the  monastery  of  Nutscelle,  near  South- 
ampton, distinguished  alike  as  a  diligent 
student  and  an  attractive  teacher  ;  ready  to 
help  all  who  came  within  reach  of  his 
influence,  rich  or  poor,  bond  or  free. 
Inspired  with  missionary  enthusiasm, 
Boniface,  accompanied  by  two  or  three 
fellow-monks,  sailed  for  Frisia  in  716,  but 
he  could  make  no  impression  on  the  heathen 
king  Rathbod,  who  was  at  that  time  making 
war  on  Charles  Martel  and  destroying 
churches  in  Gaul  in  all  directions.  Boniface 
returned  to  Nutscelle,  and  two  years  after- 
wards started  again,  furnished  with  letters 
of  commendation  from  Bishop  Daniel  to 
all  Christian  kings,  dukes,  bishops,  abbots, 
presbyters,  and  other  "spiritual  sons"  charg- 
ing them  to  show  him  hospitality.  Two 
interesting  letters  from  Bishop  Daniel  to 
Boniface  have  been  preserved.  One  of 
these  (printed  in  Haddan  and  Stubbs' 
Councils,  etc.,  Vol.  iii,  304)  contains  some 
very  wise  counsel  as  to  the  methods  of 
dealing  with  the  heathen.  He  should  be 
careful  not  to  insult  or  irritate  them  by  over 
dogmatism,  but  endeavour  to  lead  them  on 
gently,  and  induce  them  gradually  to  be 
ashamed  of  their  own  superstitions  by 
indirectly  contrasting  them  with  the  truth 

of  Christianity.  He  gives  an  illustration 
of  the  way  in  which  a  polytheist  might 
be  puzzled  by  a  series  of  Socratic 
questions.  Had  the  world  a  beginning  or 
did  it  exist  from  all  eternity  ?  If  it  had  a 
beginning  who  created  it?  Not  the  gods 
who  were  admitted  not  to  be  eternal.  If 
the  world  was  eternal  who  ruled  it  before 
the  gods  came  into  being?  How  did  the 
gods  obtain  power  over  the  world  if  it 
existed  before  them  ?  How  was  the  first 
god  produced  ?  Will  the  gods  continue  to 
be  generated  indefinitely?  How  are  men 
to  know  which  of  the  gods  is  the  most 
powerful?  Another  curious  line  of  argu- 
ment suggested  by  Daniel  does  not  com- 
mand our  admiration,  but  it  is  characteristic 
of  an  age  in  which  child-like  ignorance  and 
simplicity  were  often  combined  with  sound 
learning  and  intellectual  power.  He  re- 
commends Boniface  to  show  how  Christians 
enjoy  all  the  most  fertile  regions  of  the 
earth,  abounding  in  wine  and  oil,  while  the 
heathen  are  condemned  to  occupy  those 
which  are  frost-bound  (frigore  semper 
rigentes  terras).  At  the  conclusion  of  this 
letter  Daniel  intimates  that  he  was  suffering 
much  from  bodily  infirmity,  and  requests  the 
prayers  of  Boniface  that  this  affliction  may 
turn  to  his  spiritual  benefit.  From  another 
letter,  written  several  years  afterwards,  we 
learn  that  he  had  become  blind.  He 
encourages  Boniface  to  bear  up  under  his 
manifold  trials,  and  to  exercise  wholesome 
discipline  over  his  clergy,  but  not  to  attempt 
to  separate  himself  entirely  from  intercourse 
with  the  evil,  which  was  impossible  in  a 
world  where  the  tares  must  ever  be  mingled 
with  the  wheat.  He  thanks  Boniface  for 
his  sympathy  and  prayers,  and  concludes 
in  language  of  warm  affection  :  "  Farewell, 
farewell,  thou  hundred-fold  dearer  one  to 
me,  though  I  write  by  the  hand  of  another." 

Daniel  resigned  his  See  on  account  of 
his  blindness  in  744,  and  retired  to  his 
old  home  at  Malmesbury,  where  he  died 
and  was  buried  in  the  following  year. 


III.— The  See  of  Winchester  from  746  to  862. 

Depression  of  the  West  Saxon  Kingdom  in  the 
8th  century. — Recovery  under  Ecgberht. — 
His  supremacy. — Ealhstan,  Bishop  ofSher- 
borne. — Swithun,  Bishop  of  Winchester. 

After  the  death  of  Bishop  Daniel,  which 
occurred  in  745,  the  annals  of  our  See  are 
almost  a  blank  for  nearly  a  century.  We 
have  no  record  beyond  a  bare  list  of  names, 
eleven  in  number,  given  us  by  William  of 
Malmesbury  in  his  Gesta  Pontificum,  to- 
gether with  a  few  very  slight  notices  in  the 
Saxon  Chronicle,  and  some  signatures  in 
attestation  of  Charters.  The  greater  part 
of  the  eighth  century,  and  especially  the 
latter  half  of  it,  was  a  period  of  depression 
in  Wessex  owing  to  internal  strife.  Even 
the  strong  king  Ine  had  scarcely  been  able 
to  subdue  the  revolts  of  rebellious  ^Ethel- 
ings,  and  in  726  he  had  abdicated  in 
weariness  and  disgust  and  sought  peace  in 
a  pilgrimage  to  Rome,  where  he  died.  After 
his  departure  Wessex  became  a  scene  of 
anarchy,  and  ^Ethelbald,  the  powerful  king 
of  Mercia,  seized  the  opportunity  of  assert- 
ing his  supremacy  over  the  whole  of  southern 
England.  For  twenty  years,  from  733  to 
754,  he  was  recognised  as  the  over-lord  of 
all  Britain  south  of  the  Humber.  In  754 
the  West  Saxons  rallied  their  strength  and 
inflicted  a  decisive  defeat  on  the  Mercian 
king  at  Burford  in  Oxfordshire,  and  after 
this  they  extended  their  power  westwards 
over  the  Welsh  in  Devon,  pushing  their 
border  beyond  the  Axe  and  the  Tone,  where 
Ine  had  carried  it,  as  far  forward  as  the 
Tamar.  But  in  786  their  progress  was 
checked  by  another  outbreak  of  internal 
strife.  The  two  chief  claimants  for  the 
throne  were  Beorthric  and  Ecgberht. 
Ecgberht  being  defeated  by  his  rival  sought 
refuge  at  the  court  of  Offa,  the  powerful 
king  of  Mercia,  but  Beorthric  made  alliance 
with  Offa  by  marrying  his  daughter.  Ecg- 
berht was  expelled,  and  fled  across  sea  to 
the  court  of  the  renowned  Frankish  King 
Charles  the  Great,  or  Charlemagne.  He 
accompanied  Charles  on  the  campaigns  in 
which  he  beat  back  the  Avars  and  other 

heathen  hordes  that  were  pressing  upon 
Western  Christendom,  and  he  probably 
witnessed  the  memorable  scene  in  St.  Peter's 
at  Rome  on  Christmas  Day,  800,  when 
Charles  was  hailed  Emperor  by  the  people 
and  clergy,  and  crowned  by  the  Pope. 

The  death  of  his  rival  Beorthric  in  802 
set  Ecgberht  free  to  return  to  England. 
He  was  accepted  by  the  West  Saxons 
without  dispute,  and  proved  himself  from 
the  outset  to  be  an  energetic  and  capable 
ruler.  No  doubt  his  mind  had  been  much 
enlarged,  and  he  had  gained  much  valuable 
experience  both  in  civil  and  military  ad- 
ministration at  the  court  of  Charles.  After 
eight  years  of  stubborn  fighting  with  the 
Welsh  in  Devon  and  Cornwall,  he  es- 
tablished his  supremacy  in  that  region. 
The  Welsh  had  been  assisted  in  their 
struggle  by  a  new  and  formidable  foe — the 
heathen  Ostmen,  Wikings,  or  Danes,  who 
having  made  their  way  into  Ireland  round 
the  north  coast  of  Scotland,  were  now 
beginning  to  make  plundering  descents 
upon  the  southern  coasts  of  Britain.  Their 
first  appearance  had  been  in  787,  when  they 
arrived  with  three  long  ships  at  some  West 
Saxon  port  unnamed,  where  they  slew  the 
Reeve  who  had  mistaken  them  for  peaceful 
merchants.  Such  was  the  little  cloud  no 
bigger  than  a  man's  hand  which  was  the 
forerunner  of  a  long  and  mighty  storm. 
Before  it  had  assumed  alarming  dimensions 
Ecgberht  had  established  his  supremacy 
over  all  England  :  he  had  crushed  the 
Mercian  power  in  two  decisive  battles  ; 
Northumbria,  weak  from  internal  dissen- 
sions, voluntarily  submitted  ;  Kent  and 
East  Anglia  were  easily  subdued.  Thus 
the  Kingdom  of  Wessex  overpowered  the 
other  kingdoms,  and  Winchester  became 
the  capital  of  England. 

About  the  same  time  the  West  Saxon 
Sees  emerge  from  obscurity.  The  common 
danger  from  the  Wiking  invaders  drew 
Church  and  State  into  close  union. 
Ealhstan  who  was  made  Bishop  of  Sher- 
borne  in  824,  was  joint  commander  with 
/Ethelwulf,  the  King's  son,  of  the  force 
which  established  Ecgberht's  supremacy 


over  Kent.  He  was  the  principal  minister 
of  /Ethelwulf,  after  his  accession  to  the 
throne,  in  financial  and  military  affairs,  and 
in  845  he,  in  conjunction  with  the  Ealdor- 
men  of  Somerset  and  Dorset,  inflicted  the 
most  severe  defeat  that  the  Danes  had  as  yet 
suffered  in  an  engagement  at  the  mouthof  the 
Parret.  Hereferth,  Bishop  of  Winchester, 
and  another  West  Saxon  Bishop,  Wigthen, 
possibly  his  coadjutor,  perished  in  the 
battle  of  Charmouth,  where  Ecgberht  was 
defeated  by  the  Danes  in  834.  In  838 
Ecgberht  entered  into  solemn  compacts 
with  Ceolnoth,  Archbishop  of  Canterbury, 
and  Eadhun,  Bishop  of  Winchester,  at 
Kingston,  by  virtue  of  which  lands  at 
Mailing  were  secured  to  the  See  of  Canter- 
bury, and  lands  at  Shalfleet  in  the  Isle  of 
Wight,  were  secured  to  the  See  of  Win- 
chester. The  Bishops  promised  on  their 
part  "firm  and  unshaken  friendship,"  re- 
ceiving in  return  from  the  King  a  pledge  of 
"  perpetual  peace  and  protection." 

One  of  the  witnesses  who  signs  the 
Winchester  Charter  is  Swithun  the  deacon. 
This  is  the  first  direct  mention  of  this 
famous  personage.  All  that  can  be  gathered 
respecting  his  early  life  is  that  he  was  of 
noble  parentage,  and  received  clerical 
orders  in  827  from  the  Bishop  of  Win- 
chester. The  assertion  that  he  was  a  monk 
at  Winchester  and  became  Prior  of  the 
Minster  does  not  rest  on  any  trustworthy 
evidence.  It  is  more  probable  that  he  was 
a  secular  clerk  who  became  attached  as  a 
Royal  Chaplain  to  the  Court  of  Ecgberht 
in  which  capacity  he  may  have  attested  the 
Charter  referred  to  above.  The  King  at 
any  rate  held  him  in  high  esteem,  and 
entrusted  to  him  the  education  of  his  son 
^Cthelwulf.  jEthelwulf  was  attached  to  his 
tutor,  who  became  his  principal  adviser, 
after  his  accession  to  the  throne,  in 
ecclesiastical  and  political  affairs,  while  in 
those  pertaining  to  war  and  finance  he  was 
guided  by  Ealhstan,  Bishop  of  Sherborne. 

On  the  death  of  Bishop  Helmstan  in  852 
Swithun  was  elected  to  the  See  of  Win- 
chester, probably  on  the  recommendation 
of  King  jEthelwulf,  and  was  consecrated 
by  Ceolnoth,  Archbishop  of  Canterbury. 

Copies  of  his  profession  of  obedience  to  the 
Primate  are  extant.  (See  Haddan  and 
Stubbs  Councils,  etc.,  Ill,  633).  Accord- 
ing to  William  of  Malmesbury  (Gesta 
Regum  II,  §  108),  /Ethelwulf  was  of  an 
indolent  disposition,  and  had  to  be  stirred 
up  to  activity  by  his  two  episcopal 
counsellors,  Swithun  and  Ealhstan.  A 
formidable  incursion,  however,  of  the 
Danes  in  853  seems  to  have  roused  the 
King  to  effective  exertion.  The  Danes 
crossed  from  the  coast  of  Gaul  with  a  fleet 
of  350  ships,  landed  on  the  north  of  the 
Thames,  took  London  and  Canterbury  by 
storm,  and  having  defeated  a  Mercian 
army,  moved  southwards  into  Surrey.  Here 
they  were  opposed  at  Ockley  by  Ethelwulf 
and  his  son  .XEthelbald,  who  completely 
routed  them  with  greater  slaughter  than 
had  ever  yet  been  inflicted  on  the  heathen 
invaders.  Not  long  after  this  event 
Ethelwulf  sent  his  young  son  Alfred 
to  Rome,  probably  under  the  care  of 
Swithun  to  whom  he  had  entrusted  his 
education.  The  king  himself  made  a  pil- 
grimage to  Rome  in  855,  and  before  going 
he  made  by  the  advice  of  Swithun  his 
famous  donation  of  a  tenth  part  of  his 
property  to  religious  purposes.  The  exact 
nature  of  this  grant,  which  is  rather  an 
obscure  subject,  and  used  to  be  generally 
misunderstood,  has  been  carefully  investi- 
gated by  Mr.  Kemble  in  his  great  work  on 
the  Saxons  in  England,  Vol.  II,  480 — 490, 
and  his  conclusions  are  accepted  in  the 
main  by  Mr.  Haddan  and  Bishop  Stubbs 
(Councils,  etc.,  iii,  636).  From  a  comparison 
of  the  several  notices  of  Ethelwulf  s  dona- 
tion which  occur  in  the  Saxon  Chronicle, 
Asser,  Simeon  of  Durham,  Henry  of  Hunt- 
ingdon, and  Matthew  Paris,  together  with 
the  charters  or  deeds  of  gifts*  (some  of 
which,  however,  are  doubtful),  it  appears 
that  Ethelwulf  did  three  things,  at  three 
different  times  :  (i)  he  released  a  tenth 
part  of  the  folc  lands  that  were  let  either 

*  An  early  copy  of  one  of  these  charters  relating  to  the 
Cathedral  Monastery  is  preserved  in  the  Cathedral 
Library,  of  which  a  photogravure,  with  text  and  trans- 
lation will  be  found  in  the  Diocesan  Chronicle  for 
January,  1901. 

c      RO         OR  A 

*  lr- 

Early  copy  in  facsimile   of   a  Charter  of   King  ^thelwulf  in  854. 

Among  the  witnesses  are  SWITHUN  (srd)  and  ALFRED  (i3th). 
Now  in  Winchester  Cathedral  Library.  (Full  size  i6in.  by  12  in.) 


to  the  Church  or  to  the  thanes  from  pay- 
ment to  the  crown,  or  other  burdens,  except 
the  three  indispensable  obligations  called 
the  "trinoda  necessitas,"  namely,  military 
service  for  repelling  invasion,  the  repair  of 
bridges,  and  fortresses  ;  (2)  he  granted  a 
tenth  part  of  his  own  private  estates  to 
religious  houses,  or  to  his  thanes  ;  (3)  he 
decreed  that  for  every  ten  hides  of  his  own 
land  provision  should  be  made  for  the 
maintenance  of  one  poor  man,  whether  a 
native  or  an  alien.  The  supposition  of  Selden, 
which  was  followed  by  Collier,  Hume,  and 
other  historians,  that  these  grants  of  ^thel- 
wulf  were  the  origin  of  tithe,  or  of  the  legal 
rights  to  tithe  in  England,  has  long  since 
been  disproved.  It  is  clear  from  the 
Penitentials  of  Archbishop  Theodore  in  the 
seventh  century  that  the  payment  of  tithe 
was  regarded  as  a  religious  duty,  and  it 
had  probably  become  by  that  time  part  of 
the  common  law  of  the  Church.  Several 
of  the  early  Fathers  of  the  Church,  in- 
cluding Chrysostom,  Jerome,  and  Augustine, 
insist  upon  the  claim  of  the  clergy,  on  the 
analogy  of  the  Levitical  priesthood,  to  the 
tithe  of  increase.  The  Council  of  Tours  in 
567  admonishes  the  faithful  in  urgent  terms 
(instantissime  commonemus)  not  to  neglect 
this  duty.  Charles  the  Great  made  it  a 
matter  of  legal  obligation  in  779,  and  it 
was  made  binding  in  England  by  the  Canon 
of  a  Legatine  Council  held  in  789,  the  de- 
crees of  which  were  accepted  by  the  kings, 
and  their  Witan,  of  Mercia,  Northumbria, 
and  probably  Wessex  also.  The  donations 
of  ^Ethelwulf  were  personal  acts  affecting 
Wessex  alone  ;  and  their  only  connexion 
with  tithe  is  that  the  adoption  of  the  tenth 
as  a  measure  of  the  king's  benefactions 
indicates  that  it  was  generally  recognised 
as  a  clerical  portion. 

The  only  other  historical  facts  recorded 
of  bishop  Swithun  are  that  he  devoted 
much  attention  to  building  and  repairing 
churches,  and  that  he  constructed  a  stone 
bridge  over  the  Itchen,  hard  by  the  East 
gate  of  Winchester,  which  excited  great 
admiration.  It  is  in  connexion  with  this 
bridge  that  the  only  miracle  attributed  to 
him  in  his  life-time  is  said  to  have  occurred. 

When  it  was  in  process  of  building,  a  poor 
woman,  with  a  basket  full  of  eggs  for  market, 
crossed  the  temporary  wooden  bridge.  The 
rough  workmen  rudely  hustled  her,  and  the 
eggs  were  jerked  out  of  the  basket  and 
broken.  The  bishop  who  was  superin- 
tending the  work,  being  indignant  and 
distressed,  made  the  sign  of  the  cross  over 
the  shattered  eggs,  whereupon  all  the 
fragments  re-united.  Extreme  kindness 
and  humility  were  his  distinguishing  charac- 
teristics. Like  St.  Aidan,  St.  Chad,  and 
bishops  of  the  Celtic  school,  he  walked 
about  his  diocese  in  preference  to  riding, 
however  great  the  distances  might  be  ;  and 
in  going  to  dedicate  churches  he  frequently 
journeyed  by  night  for  the  sake  of  privacy. 
From  the  same  feeling  of  humility  he 
desired  that  when  he  died  he  should  be 
buried  outside  his  Cathedral,  where  passers- 
by  would  trample  on  his  grave,  and  rain 
drops  from  the  roof  would  drip  upon  it. 
He  died  on  July  2,  862,  and  was  interred  in 
accordance  with  his  directions  outside  the 
Minster,  between  the  north  wall  and  a 
wooden  belfry  tower.  The  story  of  his 
removal  a  century  later  from  this  lowly 
grave  to  the  new  Cathedral  erected  by 
Bishop  Athelwold,  and  the  crowd  of  mira- 
cles which  accompanied  and  followed  the 
translation,  establishing  his  reputation  as  a 
saint,  and  bringing  fame  and  wealth  to  the 
monastery,  must  be  reserved  for  another 

IV. -The  Bishops  of  Winchester  in  a  dark  age. 
862  to  963. 

Alfrith,  862-871. 
Tunberht,  871-879. 

Denewulf,  879-908. 
Frit hst an,  909-931. 

Beornstan,  931-934. 
Elphege  (jElfheah), 


sElfsige,  951-959- 
Brithelm,  060-963. 

William  of  Malmesbury  records  the  death 
and  burial  of  Swithun  in  862,  and  adds, 
"  Many  generations  passed  during  which 
this  pearl  of  God  lay  hid,  without  fame,  for 
nearly  a  hundred  years."  In  fact  more  than 
a  century  elapsed  before  his  claim  to  venera- 
tion was  established,  during  the  episcopate 
of  Athelwold,  by  the  miracles  reputed  to 



be  wrought  at  his  tomb.  Meanwhile  eight 
Bishops  occupied  the  see.  Their  names 
have  been  preserved  to  us  by  William  of 
Malmesbury,  and  in  some  instances  by 
their  signatures  attached  to  charters  which 
they  witnessed. 

Of  the  first  two,  Alfrith,  862-871,  and 
Dunbert  or  Tunbert,  871-879,  we  know 
nothing  beyond  their  names.  Their  epis-  ( 
copates  are  co-extensive  with  the  darkest 
period  in  the  history  of  Wessex,  when  the 
Danes  were  ravaging  the  country.  Win- 
chester was  sacked  in  863,  and  the 
Cathedral  clergy  were  slain.  King  Alfred 
was  driven  to  take  refuge  for  a  time 
in  the  marsh-girded  fortress  of  Athelney, 
and  in  the  depths  of  the  forest  of  Selwood. 
It  was  here  that  he  lighted  one  day  on  a 
man  named  Denewulf,  who  was  engaged  in 
pasturing  a  herd  of  swine.  He  had  little 
or  no  learning,  but  the  king  discerned  in 
him  goodness  and  force  of  character,  and 
on  the  death  of  Tunbert  in  879,  one  year 
after  the  great  victory  at  Ethandun  and 
the  peace  made  at  Wedmore  which  saved 
Wessex,  Alfred  sent  for  Denewulf,  put  him 
through  a  course  of  instruction,  and  made 
him  Bishop  of  Winchester.  The  story 
seems  scarcely  credible  in  detail,  but  we 
may  fairly  suppose  that  Denewulf,  like 
Alfred  himself,  received  his  education  late 
in  life  ;  and  it  illustrates  that  utter  decay, 
almost  extinction,  of  learning,  of  which 
Alfred  himself  complained  so  bitterly  when 
he  set  to  work  to  restore  his  ruined  kingdom. 
He  tells  us  that  he  could  remember  how, 
when  he  was  a  child,  "the  Churches  stood 
filled  with  treasures  and  books,  and  there 
was  also  a  great  multitude  of  God's  min- 
isters," but  this  was  "before  the  whole 
country  had  been  ravaged  and  burned," 
and  he  proceeds  to  say  that  when  he  came 
to  the  kingdom  learning  was  altogether 
decayed  among  English  folk  ;  "so  that  very 
few  on  this  side  Humber  could  understand 
their  rituals  in  English,  or  translate  anything 
from  Latin  into  English.  I  ween  there  were 
not  many  beyond  the  Humber,  and  I  cannot 
bethink  me  of  a  single  one  south  of  the 
Thames."*  Bishop  Denewulf  himself  has 

•Alfred's  Preface  to  the  Shepherds  Book,  ed.  Sweet. 

left  his  testimony  to  the  desolation  of  the 
country  caused  by  the  ravages  of  the  Danes, 
for  he  records  how  his  land  at  Bedhampton 
"  when  my  lord  first  let  it  to  me  was  un- 
provided with  cattle,  laid  waste  by  the 
heathen  folk  ;  and  I  myself  provided  the 
cattle,  and  there  people  were  afterwards."! 

Denewulf  was  bishop  from  879  to  908, 
outliving  his  patron,  King  Alfred.  Much 
had  been  done  to  revive  religion  and 
civilization  during  this  period  by  the  exer- 
tions of  Alfred  and  the  bishops,  and  other 
good  and  learned  men,  whom  he  called  to 
his  aid — Plegmund,  the  Mercian,  whom  he 
made  Archbishop  of  Canterbury  in  890, 
Werfrith,  Bishop  of  Worcester,  the  Monk 
Grimbald,  and  John  the  old  Saxon,  whom 
the  King  brought  over  from  the  Continent. 

In  909,  the  year  after  the  death  of 
Denewulf,  in  the  reign  of  Alfred's  son, 
Eadward  the  Elder,  a  great  enlargement  of 
the  West  Saxon  episcopate  was  effected  by 
the  creation  of  three  new  dioceses,  one  for 
the  Wilsaetas,  the  people  of  Wiltshire,  with 
a  moveable  See  which  rested  sometimes  at 
Ramsbury,  near  Sarum,  sometimes  at  Son- 
ning,  near  Reading,  in  Berkshire,  one  for 
the  Sumersastas  with  its  See  at  Wells,  and  a 
third  for  the  west  country,  the  old  province 
of  Dyfnaint,  with  its  See  at  Crediton.  The 
year  909  is  memorable  for  the  consecration 
of  seven  bishops  by  Archbishop  Plegmund 
on  the  same  day  at  Canterbury  :  three  to 
the  new  West  Saxon  Sees,  two  to  the  old 
See  of  Winchester  and  Sherborne,  one  to 
the  South  Saxon  See  of  Selsey,  and  one  to 
the  Mercian  See  of  Dorchester,  near  Oxford. 

The  bishop  consecrated  to  Winchester 
was  Frithstan.  We  have  no  record  of  him 
beyond  the  brief  statement  in  William  of 
Malmesbury  that  his  sanctity  was  attested 
by  the  reverence  paid  to  his  tomb,  and  his 
learning  by  the  size  of  his  library  which 
was  existing  in  William's  time  ;  a  proof  of 
the  advance  which  had  been  made  in 
civilization  under  the  stimulating  influence 
of  Alfred.  Frithstan  resigned  in  931,  and 
died  two  years  afterwards.  His  successor, 
Beornstan,  931 — 934,  obtained  a  still  higher 

t  Thorpe,  Diplomatarium. 


reputation  for  sanctity.  Of  him  it  is  related 
that  he  said  mass  daily  for  the  repose  of 
the  departed,  and  that  he  was  wont  to  visit 
the  Cathedral  graveyard  at  night  and  chant 
psalms  there  for  the  souls  of  the  dead.  On 
one  occasion  when  he  had  come  to  the  end 
of  the  Psalms,  and  had  added  the  prayer 
"  may  they  rest  in  peace,"  he  heard  the 
sound  of  a  deep  "  Amen "  proceed  from 
the  tombs,  like  the  shout  of  a  mighty  army 
underground.  Being  a  devoted  imitator  of 
his  Divine  Master,  Beornstan  used  to  wash 
every  day  the  feet  of  certain  poor  folk,  and 
when  the  service  was  finished,  and  the 
people  had  been  dismissed,  he  would 
remain  on  the  spot  for  hours,  absorbed  in 
devotion.  On  one  of  these  occasions  he 
retired  to  his  private  chamber,  and  did  not 
reappear.  His  servants,  knowing  his  habit, 
abstained  the  whole  day  from  intruding 
upon  him,  but  at  last  in  the  dusk  of  the 
evening,  they  ventured  to  look  in,  and 
found  their  master  lifeless.  Little  account 
was  taken  of  his  memory  until  the  days  of 
Bishop  ^Ethelwold,  thirty  years  later,  to 
whom  he  appeared  in  a  vision  accompanied 
by  two  other  figures.  Beornstan,  who  was 
the  spokesman  of  this  threefold  apparition, 
informed  ^Ethelwold  that  his  companions 
were  Birinus  and  Swithun,  that  he  enjoyed 
equal  honour  with  them  in  the  other  world, 
and  he  therefore  claimed  to  be  reverenced 
in  like  manner  on  earth.  Henceforth  he 
was  numbered  amongst  the  local  saints, 
although  in  a  short  time  Swithun  eclipsed 
him  and  all  others  in  popular  estimation. 

Beornstan's  successor,  Elphege  or  Alfheah, 
had  also  a  high  reputation,  not  only  for 
sanctity,  but  also  for  prophetic  power.  On 
a  certain  Ash  Wednesday,  when  he  had 
been  exhorting  his  congregation  to  peni- 
tence and  abstinence  even  from  lawful 
pleasures,  one  of  his  hearers  derisively 
declared  that  he  should  enjoy  himself  as 
usual  in  defiance  of  the  holy  man's  counsel. 
The  bystanders  heard  the  bishop  ejaculate 
in  an  undertone  :  "  Unhappy  man  !  I  pity 
thee,  for  thou  knowest  not  what  the  morrow 
will  bring  forth."  The  next  morning  he 
was  discovered  dead  in  his  bed.  On  another 
occasion  the  bishop  was  ordaining  three 

candidates  for  the  priesthood,  and  at  the 
conclusion  of  the  service  he  predicted  that 
two  of  them  would  become  bishops,  one  as 
his  successor  at  Winchester,  the  other  as 
Archbishop  of  Canterbury ;  while  the  third, 
relapsing  into  the  slough  of  sensual  ease 
and  pleasure,  would  come  to  a  miserable 
end.  The  two  whom  he  designated  for 
the  episcopal  office  were  yEthelwold  and 
Dunstan.  The  third,  Ethelstan,  apostatised 
from  his  profession  as  a  monk  and  plunged 
into  worldliness  and  sin. 

The  good  Bishop  Alfheah,  who  died  in 
951,  was  succeeded  by  ^Ifsige,  a  man  of 
a  very  different  stamp.  Six  years  after  his 
appointment  there  was  a  disruption  in  the 
kingdom.  On  the  death,  in  955,  of  Eadred, 
the  youngest  son  of  Eadward  the  Elder, 
without  children,  his  nephew,  Edwy  or 
Eadwig,  was  chosen  king.  He  was  only 
a  youth  of  fifteen,  and  fell  under  the 
influence  of  a  party  which  was  opposed 
to  Dunstan,  who  had  been  the  principal 
director  of  Eadred.  In  957  the  English 
north  of  the  Thames  revolted  from  Eadwig, 
and  elected  his  brother,  Eadgar,  to  be  king. 
Bishop  yElfsige  adhered  to  the  party  which 
supported  Eadwig,  and  was  nominated  to 
the  Archbishoprick  of  Canterbury  on  the 
death  of  Oda.  Oda,  like  Dunstan,  had 
been  strongly  opposed  to  the  marriage  of 
Eadwig,  on  the  ground  that  his  wife, 
AL\fg\(u,  was  within  the  forbidden  degrees 
of  consanguinity.  >Elfsige  is  said  to  have 
insulted  his  predecessor's  memory,  tramp- 
ling on  his  grave  while  he  boasted  of  his 
own  promotion.  The  next  night  he  had  a 
vision  of  Oda,  who  predicted  his  impending 
death.  Nothing  daunted,  ^Clfsige  soon 
afterwards  set  forth  for  Rome  to  obtain 
his  pall.  In  crossing  the  Alps,  the  cold 
was  intense  and  the  snow  deep,  ^tlfsige 
became  insensible,  and  his  feet  were  frost- 
bitten. His  attendants  killed  one  of  the 
horses  and  plunged  the  bishop's  legs  into 
the  warm  entrails  ;  but  the  attempt  to 
restore  animation  was  vain. 

Of  Brihthelm,  /Elfsige's  successor  at 
Winchester,  we  have  no  record.  He  died 
in  963,  and  the  prediction  of  Alfred  was 
then  verified  by  the  nomination  of  jEthelwold 


to  the  See.  We  must  reserve  some  account 
of  him  for  another  paper  as  he  was  one  of 
the  most  eminent  of  a  group  of  distinguished 
bishops  who  with  Dunstan  as  their  leader 
accomplished  great  reforms  in  the  Church. 
The  century  that  we  have  just  traversed 
has  been  a  kind  of  tunnel  through  which 
we  have  had  to  grope  our  way  by  the  dim 
and  uncertain  torch  of  legend,  rather  than 
history;  but  with  the  accession  of  yEthel 
we  emerge  into  something  like  daylight. 

V.— The  Leader  of  Monastic  Reform. 

^Ethel-wold,  963-984. 

We  now  come  to  the  great  name  of 
vEthelwold,  one  of  the  most  distinguished 
leaders  in  that  revival  of  monasticism 
which  marks  an  epoch  in  the  history  of  the 
English  Church  in  the  latter  half  of  the 
tenth  century. 

It  has  been  related  in  the  last  paper  how 
^Ethelwold  was  ordained  to  the  priesthood 
on  the  same  day  as  Dunstan  by  Bishop 
j£lfheah  or  Elphege,  who  predicted  that 
both  the  candidates  would  become  Bishops, 
one  of  them  as  his  own  successor  at  Win- 
chester, the  other  as  Archbishop  of  Canter- 
bury :  and  in  due  time  his  prophecy  was 

jEthelwold  was  born  at  Winchester  in 
the  reign  of  Edward  the  Elder,  but  the 
exact  year  of  his  birth  is  uncertain.  His 
parents  were  in  a  good  position,  and  by 
them  he  was  well  taught  in  his  childhood. 
At  an  early  age  he  obtained  some  office  in 
the  household  of  King  Athelstan,  and  gained 
a  high  reputation  for  intelligence  and  apti- 
tude in  learning.  It  was  by  the  desire  of  the 
King  that  he  entered  the  ranks  of  the  clergy, 
and  after  his  ordination  to  the  priesthood 
he  became  one  of  Bishop  ^Ifheah's  Chap- 
lains, and  studied  theology  under  him. 
jClfheah  desired  the  reformation  of  the 
monasteries,  which  in  the  general  depres- 
sion and  disorder  of  the  Church  after  the 
Danish  invasions,  had  sunk  to  a  very  low 
condition.  The  Benedictine  rule  was  not 
only  neglected  but  utterly  forgotten,  the 
inmates  of  the  houses  were  for  the  most 
part  monks  in  name  only,  and  the  conven- 

tual buildings  were  in  many  instances  more 
than  half  ruined.  The  revival  began  with 
the  appointment  of  Dunstan  to  the  office  of 
Abbot  at  Glastonbury,  which  he  converted 
into  a  home  of  learning  and  good  discipline. 
Here  he  was  joined  by  jtthelwold,  who 
quickly  rose  to  the  position  of  Dean,  and 
helped  forward  the  work  of  reformation, 
setting  a  bright  example  by  his  diligence  in 
study  and  devotional  exercises,  and  his 
humble  industry  in  the  cultivation  of  the 
garden,  in  which  he  worked  with  his  own 
hands.  He  was  anxious  to  visit  some  of 
the  great  monasteries  on  the  continent, 
which  had  a  high  reputation  for  their  dis- 
cipline, but  permission  was  withheld  by  the 
King  Eadred,  on  the  advice  of  Dunstan, 
who  was  unwilling  to  lose  his  services  in 
England.  About  the  year  954  the  King, 
with  the  consent  of  Dunstan,  granted  him 
the  Monastery  of  Abingdon.  It  was  an 
ancient  house,  but,  like  others,  had  lapsed 
into  a  deplorable  condition  ;  the  buildings 
were  mean  and  ruinous,  and  all  its  estates 
except  forty  hides  had  fallen  into  the  hands 
of  the  King,  ^thelwold  set  vigorously 
about  the  work  of  restoration  ;  he  imported 
some  clerks  from  Glastonbury,  recovered 
the  alienated  lands,  and  with  the  aid  of 
other  generous  gifts  from  the  King  and  his 
mother,  Eadgifu,  goodly  buildings  were 
erected.  King  Eadred  himself  took  a 
lively  interest  in  the  work,  and  from  time 
to  time  personally  inspected  the  progress  of 
it.  In  connection  with  one  of  these  royal 
visits  a  curious  story  is  told,  which  proves 
that  hard  drinking  was  prevalent  then  as  in 
later  times,  and  that  drunkenness  was  not 
considered  disgraceful  on  a  festive  occasion 
amongst  persons  of  high  rank.  The  King 
came  from  Andover,  where  he  had  held  a 
Witenagemote,  and  was  attended  by  a  large 
company  of  thegns,  some  of  them  North- 
umbrians. Having  spent  some  time  in 
marking  out  foundations  and  settling  the 
height  of  walls,  Abbot  ^thelwold  invited 
them  all  to  dinner.  The  King  ordered  the 
doors  to  be  kept  fast  closed  that  no  man 
might  shirk  his  share  of  drink.  They  sat 
on  drinking  all  the  remainder  of  the  day, 
yet  "the  Abbot's  barrel  of  mead  wasted  not 


nor  shrank  more  than  a  hand's  breadth," 
so  that  at  night  the  Northumbrian  nobles 
started  on  their  homeward  journey  as 
"  drunk  as  hogs."  After  recording  this 
miracle  in  favour  of  intemperance  ALthel- 
wold's  biographer  relates,  without  any 
apparent  sense  of  incongruity,  how  he  in- 
troduced the  strict  Benedictine  rule  from 
Fleury  into  his  Monastery,  how  he  enriched 
his  Church  with  costly  gifts,  a  massive 
chalice  of  gold,  and  three  crosses  of  gold 
and  silver,  together  with  other  articles  of 
his  own  making,  for,  like  Dunstan,  he  was 
a  cunning  artificer.  These  gifts  included 
two  bells,  and  a  machine  called  "the  golden 
wheel,"  hung  with  little  bells,  which  made  a 
tinkling  noise  when  the  wheel  was  turned, 
to  animate  the  devotion  of  worshippers. 

In  963,  ^Ethelwold  was  appointed  on  the 
recommendation  of  Dunstan,  who  was  now 
Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  to  the  vacant 
See  of  Winchester.  He  found  the  Chapter 
of  the  Cathedral  composed  of  secular  clerks, 
utterly  undisciplined,  dwelling  in  luxurious 
ease  with  their  wives,  some  of  them  divorced 
from  their  wives  and  consorting  with  other 
women.  Of  course  with  such  a  Chapter 
the  services  of  the  Church  were  shamefully 
neglected.  ^Ethelwold  lost  no  time  in  setting 
about  a  drastic  reform.  He  sent  for  some 
monks  from  Abingdon,  he  invoked  the  aid 
of  King  Eadgar,  and  accompanied  by  one 
of  the  royal  thegns  and  the  monks,  he 
entered  the  choir  of  the  Minster  as  the 
clerks  were  singing  the  Antiphon  for 
the  day  (Ps.  ii,  II,  "Serve  the  Lord  with 
fear").  He  threw  down  some  Benedictine 
cowled  frocks  which  he  had  brought  with 
him  before  the  astonished  clerks,  and 
bluntly  told  them  that  if  they  really  wished 
to  make  good  the  words  they  had  been 
singing,  to  "serve  the  Lord  with  fear  and  to 
rejoice  unto  Him  with  reverence,  to  lay 
hold  of  instruction  "  (apprehendite  discipli- 
nam  in  the  Vulgate  rendering)  and  not  "to 
perish  from  the  right  way,"  they  must  imme- 
diately assume  the  monastic  dress  or  depart. 
Only  three  consented  to  become  monks, 
the  remainder  were  expelled,  and  the  monks 
from  Abingdon  took  their  place.  The 
ejected  clerks  appealed  to  the  king.  A 

large  gemote  was  summoned  to  hear  their 
cause  pleaded.  Some  of  the  nobles  inter- 
ceded with  Archbishop  Dunstan  for  their 
restoration.  He  remained  silent  and  pon- 
dering with  downcast  eye,  when  suddenly 
there  seemed  to  come  a  voice  from  the 
large  crucifix  attached  to  the  wall  of  the 
room  in  which  they  were  assembled,  crying, 
"  It  shall  not  be,  it  shall  not  be,"  and  this 
was  of  course  regarded  as  a  divine  intima- 
tion decisive  of  the  question. 

^Ethelwold  also  substituted  monks  for 
clerks  in  the  New  Minster,  and  restored  or 
refounded  the  Nunna  Minster,  which  had 
been  originally  founded  by  King  Alfred's 
wife.  But  his  energies  were  not  confined 
to  Winchester  or  even  to  his  own  diocese. 
He  obtained  a  general  commission  from  the 
king  to  restore  monasteries  in  all  parts  of 
the  kingdom.  Ely,  Peterborough,  and 
many  other  large  houses  felt  his  reforming 
hand.  The  corrupt  houses  trembled  it  is 
said  at  his  coming,  for  he  "  was  terrible  as 
a  lion  to  the  refractory,  though  gentle  as  a 
dove  to  the  meek."  He  was  in  truth 
much  sterner  than  either  of  the  two  other 
great  monastic  reformers.  The  milder  and 
more  patient  Oswald,  Bishop  of  Worcester, 
used  persuasion  rather  than  force,  and  the 
severity  of  Dunstan  was  tempered  by  his 
discretion  as  a  statesman. 

^tthelwold's  harsh  treatment  of  the 
secular  clergy  naturally  excited  animosity, 
and  there  was  a  suspicion  that  on  one 
occasion  an  attempt  was  made  to  poison 
him.  He  was  taken  suddenly  ill  when 
dining  with  some  guests,  but  after  lying 
down  for  a  short  time  he  recovered,  as  it 
was  believed,  by  an  exercise  of  faith.  We 
shall  not,  however,  readily  credit  the  foul 
design  imputed  to  the  bishop's  enemies 
when  we  remember  that  throughout  the 
middle  ages  sudden  illness  was  commonly 
attributed  to  poison,  and  speedy  recovery 
to  a  miracle,  ^tthelwold  undoubtedly  had 
a  violent  pain  in  his  stomach,  and  that  is 
all  that  need  be  said  on  the  subject.  By 
those  who  submitted  to  his  rule  he  was 
greatly  beloved  :  he  was  specially  fond  of 
instructing  young  men  and  boys  in  gram- 
mar and  prosody,  and  how  to  translate  from 



Latin  into  English,  and  he  was  a  cheerful 
and  encouraging  teacher.  The  art  of 
manuscript  and  illumination  flourished  in 
the  Cathedral  Monastery  under  his  in- 
fluence, and  a  splendid  specimen  of  it 
survives  in  his  Benedictional,  which  is  pre- 
served in  the  library  at  Chatsworth — not 
where  it  ought  to  be  in  the  library  of  the 
Cathedral.  It  was  written  by  a  Winchester 
monk  named  Godeman,  and  contains  the 
forms  of  benediction  to  be  said  by  the 
bishop  at  the  fraction  of  the  Host  on  116 
Festivals.  The  book,  which  consists  of 
119  pages,  is  adorned  with  thirty  miniature 
pictures  and  various  illustrations  :  the 
capital  letters  and  the  beginnings  and  end- 
ings of  some  of  the  benedictions  are  in 
gold.  To  the  poor  ^thelwold  was  most 
benevolent,  and  during  the  prevalence  of  a 
famine  he  not  only  gave  away  all  his  money, 
but  ordered  some  of  the  vessels  of  the 
church  to  be  broken  up  and  converted  into 
money  for  the  relief  of  the  sufferers. 

Soon  after  the  expulsion  of  the  secular 
clerks  from  the  cathedral  rumours  became 
current  that  Bishop  Swithun  was  testifying 
his  approval  of  the  change  by  miraculous 
cures  of  the  sick  and  infirm.  Faith  in  his 
wonder-working  power  rapidly  increased 
until  the  burial  ground  was  so  crowded 
with  impotent  folk  that  it  was  not  easy  for 
any  one  to  get  into  the  Minster,  and  the 
church  itself  was  filled  with  the  stools  and 
crutches  of  the  lame  and  crippled  who  had 
left  them  there  in  grateful  testimony  of  their 

In  972,  Bishop  yEthelwold,  admonished 
by  a  vision,  translated  the  remains  of 
his  great  predecessor  from  his  lowly  grave 
outside  the  Church  to  a  shrine  of  gold 
and  silver  of  the  finest  workmanship,  the 
gift  of  the  King  Eadgar.  The  bodies  of 
Birinus,  Frithstan,  Beornstan,  and  yElfheah 
were  also  placed  in  rich  shrines.  The 
offerings  of  the  pilgrims  who  now  thronged 
the  shrine  of  Swithun  no  doubt  materially 
aided  ^thelwold  in  rebuilding  the  Cathe- 
dral Church,  which  was  designed  on  a 
grand  scale.  An  elaborate  description  of 
this  Church  in  Latin  verse  by  the  monk 

Wolstan  has  been  preserved,  but  the  amaz- 
ing turgidity  of  style  grievously  obscures 
the  writer's  meaning.  All  that  can  be 
made  out  with  any  degree  of  certainty 
is  that  it  had  north  and  south  aisles,  with 
many  chapels  and  altars.  He  laid  the 
foundations  also  of  an  eastern  apse  sup- 
ported by  a  crypt,  which  were  finished  by 
his  successor,  Bishop  ^Ifheah  II.  The 
Church  was  sufficiently  advanced  to  be 
consecrated  in  980,  when  there  was  a  grand 
dedication  of  it  on  October  2oth  to  the 
Apostles  St.  Peter  and  St.  Paul.  Arch- 
bishop Dunstan  with  eight  other  bishops 
performed  the  ceremony  in  the  presence  of 
King  ^thelred,  and  nearly  every  noble  in 
the  land.  On  the  completion  of  the  Church 
by  yEthelwold's  successor  there  was  a 
second  dedication,  at  which  eight  bishops 
were  present.  At  the  same  time  the  Church 
was  furnished  with  a  "pair  of  organs," a  ter- 
rific instrument.  Fourteen  bellows  worked 
by  seventy  men  supplied  400  pipes  with 
wind.  Two  players  thumped  the  manuals 
in  unison,  and  the  noise  thereof  could  be 
heard  all  over  the  city. 

Bishop  ^Ethelwold  not  only  rebuilt  the 
Church,  but  restored  the  conventual  build- 
ings ;  he  also  conducted  at  great  labour 
and  cost  the  waters  of  the  Itchen  into  many 
channels  for  the  supply  of  the  city,  and  in- 
troduced streams  abounding  with  fish  into 
the  precincts  of  the  Monastery,  so  as  to 
purify  every  part  of  it.  Thus  the  various 
watercourses  which  permeate  the  Close  at 
the  present  day,  though  concealed  for  the 
most  part  underground,  probably  owe  their 
origin  to  ^thelwold. 

The  bishop  died  at  Beddington  on  August 
1st,  984.  His  body  was  conveyed  to  Win- 
chester and  buried  in  his  Minster  on  the 
north  side  of  the  altar.  Twelve  years  later 
Bishop  yElfheah  was  induced  by  miracles 
to  translate  it  into  the  Choir. 

yEthelwold  was  probably  quite  the  ablest 
bishop  of  our  See  prior  to  the  Norman 
Conquest,  and  for  many  generations  his 
name  was  honoured  with  an  amount  of 
veneration  only  second  to  that  which  was 
accorded  to  St.  Swithun. 

Statue  of   St.   ^thelwold. 

By  permission  of  the  publishers  of  The  Great  Screen  of  Winchester  Cathedral. 


VI.— The  Bishops  of  Winchester  in  the 
llth  Century, 

JSlfheah  (St.  Alphege),  894-1003. 
Kenulph,  1005-1006. 
^Ethel-mold  II,  1006-1012. 
JSlfsige,  1014-1032. 
^Elf-wine,  1032-1047. 

On  the  death  of  Bishop  .^thelwold  the 
clerks  whom  he  had  ejected  from  the  Cathe- 
dral Chapter,  and  the  monks  whom  he  had 
substituted  for  them,  each  strove  to  bring 
about  the  appointment  of  a  bishop  belong- 
ing to  their  own  order.  The  question  was 
decided  in  favour  of  the  monks  by  a  vision 
of  St.  Andrew,  who  appeared  as  was  be- 
lieved to  Archbishop  Dunstan,  and  through 
Dunstan's  influence  ^Ifheah,  Abbot  of 
Bath,  was  appointed  to  the  vacant  See. 
>Elfheah  was  the  son  of  noble  parents,  but 
he  abandoned  the  estate  which  he  inherited 
from  his  father,  and  contrary  to  the  wishes 
of  his  mother  entered  the  Monastery  of 
Deerhurst  in  Gloucestershire,  where  he 
was  distinguished  for  his  extreme  humility 
and  unselfishness,  making  himself  the  ser- 
vant of  all.  After  a  time,  desiring  a  still 
more  austere  way  of  life,  he  retired  to  a 
cell,  which  he  built  for  himself  at  Bath, 
intending  to  dwell  there  as  an  anchorite, 
but  he  was  sought  out  in  his  retreat  by 
many,  including  persons  of  high  rank,  who 
came  to  him  for  counsel.  Some  of  them 
were  induced  by  him  to  turn  monks,  and 
in  time  he  himself  consented  to  be  made 
Abbot  of  Bath  ;  where  he  reformed  the 
Convent  and  enforced  obedience  to  the 
Benedictine  rule. 

His  episcopate  falls  within  the  disastrous 
reign  of  yEthelred  the  Unready  (i.e.,  with- 
out heed  or  counsel),  when  the  Northmen, 
who  had  hitherto  come  to  plunder  or  to 
settle,  embarked  on  the  more  ambitious 
design  of  conquest.  East  Anglia  was  in- 
vaded by  Norwegian  Vikings  in  991,- when 
the  old  Ealdorman  Brihtnoth,  who  op- 
posed them  at  the  head  of  a  local  force, 
was  defeated  and  slain  after  a  grand  and 
gallant  struggle.  In  the  same  year  Sigeric, 
Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  and  .^thelweard, 
the  West  Saxon  Ealdorman,  joined  in  ad- 
vising the  king  to  bribe  the  invaders  to 

spare  Wessex.  The  expedient  was  forced 
upon  them  owing  to  the  want  of  due  pre- 
paration to  oppose  the  enemy,  and  was 
intended  to  be  only  a  temporary  expedient ; 
but  unfortunately  it  set  a  precedent  which 
was  too  often  followed  with  fatal  conse- 
quences. Three  years  later  however,  Bishop 
.ifelfheah  succeeded  in  doing  a  piece  of 
good  service  to  the  State  by  nobler  means. 
In  994  Olaf  Tryggvisson,  King  of  Norway, 
and  Swein  Forkbeard,  of  Denmark,  after 
an  unsuccessful  attempt  to  take  London, 
exacted  a  heavy  tribute  from  Archbishop 
Sigeric  as  the  price  of  sparing  Canterbury, 
ravaged  Wessex,  and  wintered  on  the  coast 
near  Southampton,  in  readiness  to  make  a 
fresh  inroad  in  the  spring.  During  this 
interval  Bishop  ^Elfheah,  accompanied  by 
Ealdorman  ^thelweard,  went  as  envoys  to 
the  invading  kings.  Olaf  had  been  baptized 
shortly  before  his  attack  on  England,  Swein 
had  been  baptized  in  his  youth  but  had 
renounced  the  faith.  ^Elfheah  pleaded  so 
successfully  with  Olaf  that  the  king  re- 
pented of  the  miseries  which  he  was  bring- 
ing on  the  land,  was  conducted  by  the 
bishop  to  a  conference  with  -/Ethelred  at 
Andover,  and  there  received  the  rite  of 
confirmation.  At  the  same  time  he  was 
induced  to  make  a  solemn  promise  that  he 
would  depart  from  England  and  never 
invade  the  country  again.  Olaf  faithfully 
kept  his  word,  and  spent  the  remainder  of 
his  days  in  the  conversion  of  his  own 
people  to  the  Christian  faith.  Swein,  being 
deserted  by  his  ally,  soon  afterwards  set 
sail  for  Denmark,  and  for  about  two  years 
after  his  departure  the  land- enjoyed  respite 
from  invasion. 

In  1006  ^Elfheah  was  made  Archbishop 
of  Canterbury.  The  massacre  of  the  Danes 
a  few  years  before,  on  St.  Brice's  Day,  was 
an  egregious  blunder  as  well  as  an  atrocious 
crime,  and  naturally  led  to  renewed  inva- 
sions. The  decrees  of  the  Council  of  Enham, 
which,  though  undated,  was  certainly  held 
soon  after  .dilfheah's  elevation  to  the 
primacy,  are  conceived  in  a  spirit  of  pat- 
riotism and  piety  which  we  may  fairly 
attribute  to  his  influence.  In  addition  to 
provisions  against  heathenism  and  the 



slave  trade,  and  injunctions  to  monks  and 
clergy  to  live  strictly  according  to  the  rules 
of  their  order  and  the  vows  of  their  voca- 
tion, there  are  directions  for  the  organi- 
sation of  a  fleet  and  national  land  force. 
But  under  the  "redeless"  misrule  of /Ethel- 
red,  plans  of  national  defence,  however  well 
conceived,  were  never  carried  into  effect. 
The  miserable  expedient  of  buying  off  the 
enemy  was  continually  resorted  to,  and 
the  state  of  the  country  was  increasingly 
wretched,  for  the  Danes  did  not  desist 
from  their  ravages  even  when  the  money 
was  being  raised  that  should  purchase  their 
departure.  In  101 1  they  were  promised  the 
huge  sum  of  ,£48,000.  On  the  8th  of  Sept- 
ember in  that  year  they  invested  Canterbury, 
and  after  a  twenty  days'  siege  the  city  was 
taken  and  burnt.  The  Archbishop  was 
carried  captive,  with  many  others,  and  the 
Danes  detained  him  prisoner  for  seven 
months  in  their  ships  at  Greenwich  in  the 
hope  of  obtaining  a  large  ransom  for  him. 
Although  he  was  bound,  half-starved,  and 
otherwise  shamefully  treated,  "the  word 
of  God  was  not  bound "  ;  the  Archbishop 
preached  Christianity  to  his  captors,  and 
succeeded  in  converting  some  of  them  to 
the  faith.  But  he  steadfastly  refused  to  pay 
the  ransom  demanded  for  his  release ;  for  it 
could  not  be  raised,  he  said,  without  inflict- 
ing severe  suffering  on  poor  people  who  had 
suffered  too  much  already.  On  Saturday, 
April  i gth,  the  Danes  held  a  great  feast  at 
Greenwich,  and  got  drunk  with  wine  which 
had  been  imported  in  ships  from  the  south. 
They  had  the  archbishop  brought  into  their 
assembly,  and  fiercely  demanded  the  pay- 
ment of  his  ransom.  On  his  refusal  they 
gathered  round  him  with  threatening  words 
and  gestures.  Their  leader,  Thurkill,  who 
had  been  impressed  by  ^Ifheah's  preaching 
and  conduct,  and  who  soon  afterwards  be- 
came a  Christian,  offered  to  give  them  gold 
and  silver,  and  all  he  had  except  his  ship, 
if  they  would  spare  the  Archbishop's  life. 
But  his  intercession  was  vain  ;  and  in  their 
drunken  fury  they  pelted  the  Archbishop 
with  stones  and  logs  of  wood,  and  the  skulls 
of  the  oxen  on  which  they  had  been  feasting, 
until  he  sank  to  the  ground  in  a  dying  state. 

One  of  them  named  Thrum,  whom  he  had 
confirmed  the  day  before,  clave  his  head 
with  an  axe  to  put  him  out  of  his  agony. 
When  his  murderers  had  recovered  from 
their  drunken  frenzy  they  probably  felt 
remorse  for  their  foul  deed ;  and  they 
permitted  his  friends,  including,  we  may 
suppose,  some  of  his  converts  in  the  Danish 
host,  to  convey  the  martyr's  body  to  London 
and  reverently  bury  it  in  St.  Paul's  Church. 
Eleven  years  afterwards  King  Cnut  caused 
it  to  be  translated  with  much  ceremony,  in 
which  he  himself  took  part,  to  the  Cathe- 
dral Church  at  Canterbury. 

Miracles  were  believed  to  be  wrought  at 
his  tomb,  both  before  and  after  his  trans- 
lation, and  he  became  a  popular  and  much 
venerated  saint  and  martyr  in  the  English 
Church.  His  claim  to  this  rank,  however, 
was  questioned  on  technical  grounds  by 
Archbishop  Lanfranc,  and  he  imparted  his 
doubts  to  Anselm  when  the  latter,  who  was 
then  Abbot  of  Bee,  paid  a  visit  to  Canter- 
bury in  1078.  Lanfranc  said  he  doubted 
not  that  ^Elfheah  was  a  very  good  man  ; 
but  could  he  fairly  be  called  a  martyr, 
seeing  that  he  had  not  been  put  to  death 
for  confessing  Christ,  but  merely  because 
he  would  not  pay  a  ransom  for  his  own 
release  ?  The  larger  mind  and  larger  heart 
of  Anselm  would  not  entertain  the  doubts 
and  scruples  of  Lanfranc,  characteristic  of 
a  mind  somewhat  hardened  and  narrowed 
by  a  strictly  legal  training.  Anselm  brought 
common  sense  and  generous  feeling,  as  well 
as  good  logic,  to  determine  the  question. 
He  argued  that  one  who  was  ready  to  die 
rather  than  commit  a  slight  sin  would  cer- 
tainly be  ready  to  die  rather  than  commit 
a  grave  sin.  To  deny  Christ  was  certainly 
a  graver  sin  than  for  a  man  to  obtain  a 
ransom  for  himself  at  the  cost  of  suffering 
to  others.  Archbishop  ^Ifheah  had  died 
rather  than  commit  this  lighter  sin  ;  there- 
fore, he  certainly  would  have  died  rather 
than  commit  the  graver  one.  He  had  died 
for  righteousness  ;  but  to  die  for  righteous- 
ness was  to  die  for  Christ,  since  Christ  was 
perfect  righteousness.  ^Ifheah,  therefore, 
had  a  good  claim  to  be  ranked  as  a  martyr. 
Lanfranc  declared  himself  to  be  entirely 



satisfied  by  Anselm's  reasoning.  Hence- 
forth by  his  orders  St.  ^Elfheah  was  vener- 
ated with  peculiar  honours  in  the  church 
at  Canterbury  ;  and,  as  we  all  know,  he 
has  retained  his  place  as  St.  Alphege  in 
the  kalendar  of  our  Church.  His  day  is 
April  igth. 

^Elfheah  was  one  of  the  last  examples  of 
a  class  of  bishops  who  had  been  common 
in  the  early  English  Church,  distinguished 
for  their  extreme  simplicity  of  life  and 
ascetic  piety,  which  were  originally  due  to 
the  influence  of  the  Celtic  school  of  training 
in  Ireland  and  lona.  His  body  was  ema- 
ciated by  rigorous  fasting,  and  his  hands 
were  so  thin  and  transparent  that  when 
he  elevated  the  Host  the  light  streamed 
through  them.  As  far  as  possible  he  en- 
deavoured to  relieve  every  case  of  poverty 
in  his  diocese.  He  who  did  not  relieve  his 
poor  brethren,  he  said,  forfeited  his  title  to 
be  regarded  as  a  member  of  Christ's  body, 
for  if  one  member  suffered  all  the  members 
ought  to  suffer  with  it.  Even  the  ornaments 
of  the  Church  might  lawfully  be  devoted  to 
the  relief  of  distress  when  other  sources 

jElfheah's  five  successors  in  the  See  of 
Winchester  down  to  the  time  of  the  Norman 
conquest  (Kenulph,  .<£thelwold  II,  vElfsige, 
^Elfwine,  and  Stigand)  were  not  eminent 
in  any  way.  Kenulph  indeed,  who  held 
the  See  little  more  than  a  year,  is  said  to 
have  bought  his  bishopric  ;  and  this  sin  of 
simony  became  an  increasing  vice  in  the 
reigns  of  Cnut  and  his  successor,  Eadward 
the  Confessor.  Under  Cnut  the  royal 
chaplains,  or  clerks,  were  largely  employed 
in  affairs  of  state,  as  was  the  custom  on  the 
Continent.  In  the  reign  of  Eadward  the 
body  was  more  completely  organised,  and 
the  chief  chaplain,  as  Chancellor,  was  the 
keeper  of  the  king's  seal,  which  was  now 
brought  into  use  for  the  first  time.  These 
clerks  were  commonly  rewarded  by  ecclesi- 
astical preferments,  including  bishoprics. 
Not  a  few  of  them  were  foreigners.  Cnut 
appointed  some  Lotharingians,  and  Ead- 
ward employed  both  Lotharingians  and 

Of  /Ethelwold  II,  the  successor  of  Hen- 

ulph  (1006-1012),  and  yElfrige  (1014-1032) 
we  have  absolutely  no  record. 

^Ifwine,  the  successor  of  AL\fs\ge  (1032- 
1047),  was  one  of  Cnut's  chaplains.  He  is 
only  known  to  us  in  connexion  with  the 
absurd  legend  of  his  intrigue  with  Queen 
Emma,  then  quite  an  old  woman,  the 
mother  of  Eadward  the  Confessor.  The 
famous  story  of  her  establishing  her  inno- 
cence by  the  ordeal  of  walking  barefoot 
unharmed  over  red-hot  iron  in  the  Minster 
is  of  late  origin  and  utterly  unhistorical. 

Some  account  of  Stigand,  who  was  both 
Bishop  of  Winchester  and  Archbishop  of 
Canterbury  at  the  time  of  the  Norman 
conquest,  must  be  reserved  for  another 

VII.— Stigand,  A.D.  1047—1070. 

It  was  pointed  out  in  our  last  chapter  that 
under  Cnut  the  custom  was  gaining  ground 
of  appointing  royal  chaplains  or  clerks  to 
bishoprics.  The  practice  was  continued 
during  the  reigns  of  his  two  sons,  Harold 
and  Harthacnut,  and  of  Edward  the  Con- 
fessor. It  was  detrimental  to  the  Church 
in  various  ways.  The  royal  clerks  were  in 
many  instances  more  conspicuous  for  ability 
in  secular  business  than  for  piety  or  religious 
learning  ;  many  of  them  were  foreigners — 
Norman  or  Lotharingians,  who  had  little 
sympathy  with  their  clergy  or  their  flocks  : 
the  bishopric  came  to  be  regarded  rather 
as  a  reward  for  personal  service  to  the  king 
than  as  a  sacred  trust,  and  not  uncommonly 
it  was  sold  to  the  highest  bidder.  One  of 
the  worst  specimens  of  this  class  of  bishops 
was  Ulf,  a  Norman  chaplain  of  Edward 
the  Confessor,  who  in  1049  was  set  over 
the  vast  diocese  of  Dorchester,  which 
stretched  from  the  Thames  to  the  H umber. 
"  He  did  nought  bishoplike,"  says  the 
Chronicler,  "and  it  were  a  shame  to  tell 
more  of  his  deeds." 

Stigand,  who  at  the  time  of  the  Norman 
Conquest  held  the  See  of  Winchester  and 
the  Archbishopric  of  Canterbury  in  plurality 
was  another  example  of  the  evils  of  the 
system  described.  Of  his  origin  we  know 
nothing.  He  first  appears  as  a  Chaplain  of 



Cnut,  whom  the  King  placed  in  charge  of 
the  church  which  he  founded  at  Assandun 
(probably  Ashington),  in  Essex,  in  1020,  to 
commemorate  his  decisive  victory  over 
Edmund  Ironside.  Stigand  retained  the 
office  of  Royal  Chaplain  under  Cnut's  ill- 
conditioned  son  and  successor  Harold,  and 
was  the  confidential  friend  and  adviser  of 
Cnut's  widow,  Queen  Emma,  and  he  shared 
to  some  extent  in  the  fluctuations  of  her 
strange  career.  In  the  reign  of  Harold  I 
he  was  appointed  in  1038  to  the  East 
Anglian  See  of  Elmham,  but  was  quickly 
ejected  before  he  had  been  consecrated 
because,  according  to  the  statement  of 
Florence  of  Worcester,  Grimketel,  Bishop 
of  the  South  Saxons,  had  offered  a  larger 
sum  for  it.  He  recovered  the  See  in  1043, 
and  was  then  consecrated  ;  lost  it  again 
when  his  patroness,  Queen  Emma,  had 
incurred  the  displeasure  of  her  son,  King 
Edward  the  Confessor  ;  was  once  more  re- 
instated ;  and  finally  in  1047  was  made 
Bishop  of  Winchester.  From  this  time  he 
seems  to  have  succeeded  in  keeping  on 
good  terms  with  both  the  leading  parties  in 
the  State.  He  played  the  part  of  mediator 
between  the  King  and  Earl  Godwin  in  the 
quarrel  provoked  by  the  King's  intrusion 
of  foreigners  into  high  offices,  civil  and 
ecclesiastical.  His  sympathies,  however, 
were  mainly  with  Godwin,  and  on  the 
return  of  the  great  Earl  from  exile  in  1052 
and  the  ascendancy  of  the  English  party, 
when  Robert  of  Jumieges,  the  Norman 
Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  was  outlawed 
and  took  to  flight,  Stigand  was  appointed 
to  succeed  him.  The  appointment,  how- 
ever, was  from  the  first  considered  irregular, 
and  his  retention  of  such  an  important  See 
as  Winchester  together  with  the  Arch- 
bishopric was  nothing  short  of  a  scandal. 
Pope  after  pope  cited  him  to  Rome  to 
answer  for  his  conduct,  but  he  always 
evaded  the  summons  on  various  pretexts. 
In  England,  although  he  was  recognised  as 
archbishop  for  all  civil  and  political  purposes 
such  as  the  attestation  of  charters  and  the 
reception  of  royal  writs,  his  ecclesiastical 
position  was  regarded  with  so  much  doubt 
and  suspicion  that  men  appointed  to 

bishopricks  sought  consecration  from  other 
hands  than  his,  and  even  Earl  Harold,  his 
personal  friend,  had  the  collegiate  Church 
of  the  Holy  Rood,  which  he  had  founded 
at  Waltham,  dedicated  by  Cynesige,  Arch- 
bishop of  York.  In  addition  to  the 
bishopricks  Stigand  held  the  Abbey  of 
Gloucester,  and  for  a  short  time  that  of 
Ely,  and  is  said  to  have  obtained  or  dis- 
posed of  many  other  benefices  by  simoniacal 
transactions.  William  of  Malmesbury, 
although  he  records  these  iniquitous  pro- 
ceedings with  much  indignation,  palliates 
them  by  remarking  that  they  were  probably 
due  to  ignorance  on  the  part  of  Stigand, 
who,  like  most  of  the  English  prelates  at 
that  time,  was  an  unlearned  man,  and  may 
have  deemed  that  ecclesiastical  affairs 
might  be  conducted  on  the  same  principles 
as  secular  business. 

For  six  years  Stigand  used  the  pallium 
(the  badge  of  metropolitical  authority), 
which  the  fugitive  Archbishop  Robert  had 
left  behind  him  at  Canterbury.  In  1058  he 
obtained  a  pallium  from  Pope  Benedict  X, 
probably  through  the  influence  of  Harold, 
who  made  a  pilgrimage  to  Rome  about  that 
time ;  but  in  the  following  year  Benedict 
himself  was  deposed,  as  having  been  un- 
canonically  appointed  through  the  influence 
of  the  Counts  of  Tusculum.  Thus  the 
position  of  Stigand  was  made  worse  instead 
of  better ;  it  had  become  distinctly  schis- 
matical,  and  was  held  by  strict  Churchmen 
to  compromise  the  character  of  the  whole 
English  Church.  This  argument  was  made 
the  most  of  by  the  agents  of  Duke  William, 
who  pleaded  his  cause  at  the  papal  court, 
when  he  was  preparing  to  invade  England, 
and  it  helped  to  secure  the  favour  of  Pope 
Alexander  II  to  his  enterprise. 

Stigand  was  present  at  the  deathbed  of 
Edward  the  Confessor,  but  it  is  not  clear 
whether  the  king  received  the  viaticum  at 
his  hands  or  those  of  some  other  prelate. 
The  dying  monarch  uttered  some  strange 
words  which  struck  most  of  the  bystanders 
with  awe.  They  were  afterwards  gener- 
ally understood  to  be  prophetic  of  coming 
calamities ;  the  interruption  of  the  old  royal 
line  by  usurpers,  and  its  restoration  after 

Statue   of  Archbishop   Stigand. 

By  permission  of  the  publishers  of  The  Great  Screen  of  Winchester  Cathedral. 



three  reigns  in  the  person  of  Henry  I  by 
his  marriage  with  Matilda  of  Scotland,  the 
great-granddaughter  of  Edmund  Ironside. 
Stigand  we  are  expressly  told  was  the  only 
person  who  attached  no  significance  to  these 
utterances,  and  leaning  over  the  king's  bed 
whispered  in  the  ear  of  Earl  Harold  that 
they  were  merely  the  meaningless  mutter- 
ings  of  a  dying  man's  delirium.  The  inci- 
dent seems  to  fit  in  with  other  evidence 
indioative  of  Stigand's  character  as  rather 
a  hard,  prosaic,  worldly-minded  man. 

William  of  Poitiers  and  most  of  the 
Norman  chroniclers  assert  that  he  crowned 
Harold.  On  the  other  hand,  Florence  of 
Worcester  states  that  Harold  was  crowned 
by  Ealdred,  Archbishop  of  York,  which 
seems  much  more  probable,  being  consistent 
with  Harold's  action  on  a  former  occasion  ; 
the  consecration  of  his  church  at  Waltham. 
Moreover,  it  was  the  interest  of  the 
Normans  to  throw  doubts  of  every  possible 
kind  on  the  validity  of  Harold's  succession 
to  the  throne.  After  the  overthrow  of 
Harold,  Stigand  and  Ealdred  supported  the 
election  of  Eadgar  the  ^Etheling,  grandson 
of  Edmund  Ironside,  at  a  gemot  hastily 
held  in  London  as  soon  as  the  news  of 
Harold's  death  arrived  ;  but  as  Duke 
William  advanced  upon  the  capital,  after 
having  secured  Winchester,  Dover,  and 
Canterbury,  resistance  was  clearly  hopeless, 
and  the  electors,  together  with  the  ^theling 
himself,  made  their  submission  to  the 

It  would  have  been  inconsistent  with  the 
character  in  which  William  wished  to 
appear,  of  a  pious  and  dutiful  son  of  holy 
Church,  if  he  had  consented  to  be  crowned 
by  a  prelate  whose  position  was  doubtful. 
William  of  Malmesbury  indeed  informs  us 
that  the  Duke,  with  characteristic  craft,  had 
taken  care  to  procure  an  order  from  Rome 
prohibiting  Stigand  from  performing  the 
ceremony.  At  the  same  time  the  Conqueror 
wisely  refrained  from  subjecting  him  to 
needless  indignity  or  insult  ;  and  so  he  was 
permitted  to  walk  on  one  side  of  the  Duke 
in  the  procession  to  the  altar  in  West- 
minster Abbey,  but  Archbishop  Ealdred, 

who  walked  on  the  other  side,  performed 
the  act  of  coronation. 

On  his  first  visit  to  Normandy,  three 
months  after  he  had  become  king,  William 
took  Stigand  with  him  on  the  pretext  of 
doing  him  special  honour,  but  in  reality 
from  fear  that  the  primate  might  instigate 
revolt  in  his  absence. 

It  was  the  King's  custom  to  keep  the 
three  great  festivals  of  the  Church  in  three 
of  the  chief  centres  in  southern  England  : 
Christmas  at  Gloucester,  Easter  at  Win- 
chester, Whitsuntide  at  Westminster.  On 
these  occasions  he  wore  his  crown  in  solemn 
state  and  took  counsel  with  the  great  men, 
the  "  witan  "  of  his  realm — archbishops, 
bishops,  earls,  thegns,  and  knights. 

The  first  of  these  great  councils,  after 
the  subjugation  of  the  country,  was  held  at 
Winchester  in  1070.  At  this  council  three 
papal  legates  appeared,  who  placed  the 
crown  on  William's  head,  and  were  treated 
by  him  with  extreme  reverence  "as  if  they 
had  been  angels  of  God."  Their  presence 
was  significant  of  the  closer  relation  which 
was  to  exist  henceforth  between  the  papacy 
and  the  English  Church  ;  and  it  marks  the 
beginning  of  the  process  by  which  bishops 
and  abbots  were  systematically  displaced 
in  favour  of  foreigners  ;  for  the  most  part 
of  course  Normans. 

The  Metropolitan  See  of  York  had  become 
vacant  by  the  death  of  Ealdred  in  1069  ;  the 
See  of  Canterbury  was  now  to  be  made 
vacant  by  the  deposition  of  Stigand.  Up 
to  this  time  William  had  dissembled  his 
intentions  towards  him  ;  and  Remigius  the 
first  Norman  bishop  appointed  after  the 
Conquest  was  actually  consecrated  to  Lin- 
coln by  Stigand  ;  but  he  was  now  formally 
tried  before  the  papal  legates  and  his 
position  was  pronounced  invalid  and  un- 
tenable on  three  grounds :  (i)  that  he  had 
held  the  See  of  Winchester  together  with  the 
archbishopric  ;  (2)  that  he  had  usurped  the 
archiepiscopal  See  during  the  life-time  of 
Robert  of  Jumieges  and  had  used  the  pall 
which  Robert  had  left  behind  him  ;  (3)  that 
he  had  obtained  his  own  pall  from  the 
schismatical  pope  Benedict  X.  Of  his 



defence  we  have  no  record.  He  was  de- 
prived of  both  his  bishopricks  and  kept 
under  some  kind  of  restraint  at  Winchester 
for  the  remainder  of  his  life.  The  most 
probable  out  of  many  stories  appears  to 
be  that  he  was  confined  to  the  precincts 
of  the  Royal  Castle  with  full  permission  to 
procure  such  food  and  clothing  as  became 
his  station.  He  persisted,  we  are  told,  in 
leading  a  very  ascetic  life,  and  when 
his  friends,  especially  the  queen  dowager, 
Lady  Eadgyth,  widow  of  King  Edward, 
the  "  Old  Lady  "  as  she  was  called,  entreated 
him  to  indulge  himself  in  more  comforts  he 
was  wont  to  declare  on  oath  that  he  had 
not  a  penny  to  spare.  After  his  death, 
however,  a  buried  hoard  was  discovered, 
and  a  key  suspended  from  the  bishop's 
neck  opened  a  writing-case  which  contained 
an  exact  description  of  the  number  and 
quality  of  the  coins.  Whatever  truth  there 
may  be  in  these  stories  they  are  in  accord- 
ance with  the  statements  of  William  of 

Malmesbury  and  the  chroniclers  which 
follow  him,  that  Stigand  was  an  avaricious 
man,  who  had  bought  his  own  preferment, 
and  had  enriched  himself  by  the  sale  of 
high  offices  in  the  Church,  and  by  keeping 
some  wealthy  monastic  houses  in  his  own 
hands.  On  the  other  hand  he  is  said  to 
have  conferred  rich  gifts  on  Ely  and  on 
St.  Augustine's,  Canterbury  ;  while  to  Win- 
chester he  gave  a  large  cross  together  with 
the  figures  of  St.  John  and  the  Blessed 
Virgin,  richly  adorned  with  gold  and  silver, 
bought  out  of  money  which  he  had  received 
from  Queen  Emma.  They  were  erected 
on  the  top  of  the  rood-screen  between  the 
choir  and  nave  of  the  Cathedral.  His  death 
occurred  on  February  22nd,  1072,  and  he 
was  honourably  buried  in  the  Old  Minster, 
by  which  we  must  understand  the  church 
existing  before  his  successor,  Bp.  Walklin, 
had  begun  building  the  majestic  Norman 
Minster  which  in  its  main  substance  abides 
to  the  present  day. 

Winchester :   Printed  by  WARREN  &  SON,  85,  High  Street. 

CDc  Bishops  of  Winchester. 



THE    REV.     W.     W.     CAPES,     M.A. 
Canon  of  Hereford. 

Winchester  Cathedral— The  North  Transept. 

Bisbops  of  Mincbester. 

Walkelin,   1070—1098. 

The  See  of  Winchester,  from  which 
Stigand  was  deposed,  was  assigned  to  the 
Norman  Walkelin,  a  royal  chaplain,  said 
by  one  of  our  authorities  to  have  been 
also  a  kinsman  of  the  Conqueror.  He  had 
however  other  title  to  preferment.  As  ripe 
scholar  and  theologian,  who  had  made  his 
mark  in  the  lecture  halls  of  Paris,  he  had 
proved  the  insight  of  Maurilius,  Archbishop 
of  Rouen,  who  discerned  the  promise  of 
his  early  years,  and  urged  him  to  devote 
himself  to  an  ecclesiastical  career. 

He  was  consecrated  on  the  Sunday  after 
Whitsuntide,  1070,  by  Ermenfrid  the  Papal 
legate  who  had  presided  at  the  Council 
when  Stigand  was  degraded,  and  he  took 
part  himself  soon  afterwards  in  the  con- 
secration of  the  Primate  Lanfranc. 

The  monks  of  St.  Swithun  heard  before 
long  with  horror  that  their  new  bishop 
desired  to  reverse  the  changes  made  by 
/Ethelwold  a  century  before,  and  to  instal 
secular  canons  in  the  Cathedral  Church. 

The  sanction  of  the  King  had  been 
obtained,  and  the  choice  of  Canons  made 
already,  just  as  vEthelwold  had  his  monks 
of  Abingdon  mustered  on  the  spot  to 
replace  the  canons  whom  he  had  decided 
to  expel.  The  design  is  the  more  remark- 
able as  one  result  of  Norman  rule  in 
England  was  the  rapid  extension  of  con- 
ventual systems,  and  the  rise  of  new 
religious  houses  on  all  sides,  and  indeed 
in  this  period  regulars  were  installed  at 
Rochester  and  Durham  by  Gundulf  and 
William  of  St.  Calais.  The  monks  pleaded 
that  St.  Swithun  had  only  cared  to  exert 
his  wonder  working  grace  since  they  had 
charge  of  the  home  where  he  was  buried, 
and  that  he  might  withhold  it  if  they  left. 
It  was  more  to  the  point  that  Lanfranc  was 
monk  as  well  as  statesman,  and  his  great 
influence  barred  the  way.  Walkelin  how- 
ever, supported  by  all  the  bishops  who 
were  seculars,  renewed  his  efforts  in  another 

quarter.  It  was  urged  that  the  Chapter  of 
Christ  Church,  Canterbury,  above  all  others 
should  be  a  centre  of  many  sided  useful- 
ness to  strengthen  the  chief  Pastor's  hands 
with  varied  ministries  and  counsel  in  freer 
and  more  elastic  methods  than  could  be 
possible  for  men  bound  to  a  cloistered  rule. 
Lanfranc  could  rely  upon  himself,  but  his 
successor  might  be  differently  minded. 
Timely  help  .from  Rome  seemed  needful. 
A  letter  from  Alexander  II  to  the  Primate 
and  a  rescript  to  the  suppliant  monks  of 
Winchester  condemned  with  ample  use  of 
Papal  expletives  the  "  nefarious "  attacks, 
inspired  by  "diabolic"  agencies,  on  the 
monastic  privileges  sanctioned  by  earlier 
Popes  and  now  again  solemnly  confirmed. 
The  menaced  interests  were  saved  for 
nearly  five  centuries  longer,  to  strangle 
sometimes  proposed  reforms,  and  resist 
still  oftener  episcopal  control.  For  the 
large  powers  which  bishops  claimed  and 
exercised  in  the  eleventh  century  in  the 
details  of  conventual  discipline,  and  the  ap- 
portionment of  the  estates  of  the  Cathedrals, 
were  narrowed  as  time  went  on  by  frequent 
appeals  for  Papal  interference,  and  the 
legalised  force  of  customary  rules. 

Walkelin  was  present  at  the  Council  of 
London  in  1075,  in  which  the  rule  of  pre- 
cedence was  defined  by  which  the  See  of 
Winchester  took  rank  immediately  after 
Canterbury,  York  and  London,  and  it  was 
ordered  that  a  bishop's  seat  should  be 
placed  no  longer  in  a  village  or  small  town, 
but  transferred  to  a  city,  as  in  the  changes 
following  from  Selsey  to  Chichester,  and 
Sherborne  to  Salisbury. 

In  the  year  1079,  Walkelin  began  to 
rebuild  the  Cathedral  "  from  the  founda- 
tions" on  a  somewhat  different  site  from  the 
Saxon  church  built  by  /tthelwold  a  century 
before,  for  the  old  tomb  of  St.  Swithun 
was  on  the  west  side  of  that,  but  was  to 
be  seen  afterwards  at  the  north  door  of 
the  new  one. 


In  1086  the  massive  masonry  was  ready 
to  be  covered  in.  Local  fancy  loved  to 
dwell  upon  the  story,  recorded  only  by  the 
monastic  annalist  of  Winchester,  of  the 
host  of  workmen  brought  from  far  and  near 
to  level  to  the  ground  the  whole  of  Hempage 
Wood  within  the  space  of  the  three  days 
specified  in  the  royal  grant  of  timber  for 
the  roof,  of  the  king's  rage  when  he  passed 
by  that  way  and  understood  the  trick, 
appeased  however  by  the  bishop's  humble 
plea  to  resign  his  honours  and  do  penance 
for  his  fault.  The  monarch  might  well 
regret  the  "  delectable"  wood  which  supplied 
the  massive  timbers,  for  they  seem  to  have 
lasted  for  the  most  part  to  our  own  days, 
and  when  during  the  repairs  it  was  needful 
recently  to  replace  a  few  of  the  tie-beams, 
the  like  could  not  easily  be  found  to  match 
their  bulk  in  England,  but  were  brought 
from  distant  lands.  In  1093,  in  the  presence 
of  nearly  all  the  bishops  and  abbots  of 
England,  the  monks  took  possession  of  the 
new  Church,  and  soon  afterwards  they 
carried  the  relics  of  St.  Swithun  from  their 
old  resting-place  and  laid  them  with  all 
honour  in  the  new  minster  on  the  Saints' 
day,  July  15th.  Then  the  next  day  "the 
bishop's  men  began  to  pull  down  the  old 

The  tower  fell  in  1 107,  in  indignation,  it 
was  thought,  at  the  burial  of  Rufus  under- 
neath it,  or  from  structural  defects  like 
those  which  long  afterwards  were  fatal  to 
the  tower  at  Ely,  built  by  Walkelin's 
brother  Simeon.  The  changes  thought 
needful  in  the  proportions  of  the  piers  to 
strengthen  the  tower  as  rebuilt  may  be  still 
noticed  in  the  transepts  ;  in  the  nave  per- 
pendicular mouldings  and  new  arches 
disguise  the  older  features,  but  still  the 
core  and  substance  of  the  whole  building 
west  of  the  choir  is  Walkelin's  work,  shorn 
however  of  some  forty  feet  which  have  been 
pulled  down  beyond  the  present  front. 
The  whole  indeed  was  not  so  soon  com- 
pleted, and  to  meet  the  heavy  outlay  the 
income  of  some  estates  belonging  to  the 
convent  was  transferred  to  the  building 
fund,  and  besides  the  royal  help  was  very 
welcome  which  in  1094  granted  to  the 

bishop  all  the  rents  belonging  to  the  king 
in  Winchester  together  with  the  tolls  and 
profits  of  St.  Giles'  fair,  which  was  then  set 
up  by  charter,  to  suspend  for  ages  during 
three  days  every  year  all  local  trade  for 
many  miles  around  it. 

Norman  ascendancy  in  England  was 
followed  then  as  also  across  the  channel  by 
a  period  of  architectural  energy  which  has 
left  its  massive  traces  in  so  many  of  our 

The  new  bishops  set  to  work  at  once  to 
replace  the  Saxon  churches  with  new 
buildings  on  a  far  grander  scale.  Some, 
like  William  of  St.  Calais  at  Durham,  did 
not  live  to  finish  the  stately  minsters  which 
they  planned,  but  during  the  twenty-seven 
years  of  Walkelin's  episcopate  there  were 
many  imposing  ceremonies  in  the  new 
churches  at  which  he  was  doubtless  present, 
though  expressly  named  only  in  a  few. 
Thus  we  read  of  him  at  Osmund's  church 
on  the  hill  which  was  then  Salisbury,  in 
April,  1092,  and  in  the  next  month  in 
Lincoln  at  the  minster  which  Remigius 
had  finished  but  did  not  live  to  dedicate. 
In  1094  he  was  one  of  the  seven  bishops 
who  with  the  Primate  and  king  assembled 
for  the  consecration  of  the  memorial  of  the 
Conquest,  the  minster  of  the  place  of  Battle. 

The  favour  which  was  shown  to  Walkelin 
by  the  Conqueror  was  continued  by  the 
Red  King,  his  successor,  and  he  was 
employed  in  various  offices  of  special  trust. 
In  1088  he  carried  to  Southampton  with 
the  great  baron,  Hugh  de  Port,  the  final 
summons  to  William  of  St  Calais,  the  wily 
bishop  of  Durham,  who  had  played  a 
treacherous  part  in  the  early  days  of  the 
new  reign,  and  embarrassed  the  King's 
councillors  by  his  bold  claim  to  be  subject 
only  to  the  judgment  of  the  Pope,  and  that 
too  on  a  charge  of  treason,  and  not  for  any 
ecclesiastical  offence. 

The  next  year  we  read  of  him  at  Canter- 
bury, where  he  went  with  Gundulf  of 
Rochester  to  punish  the  riotous  monks  of 
St.  Augustine's  Abbey.  There,  as  in  other 
religious  houses,  the  intrusion  of  a  Norman 
Abbot  with  little  sympathy  for  the  older 


inmates  had  led  to  serious  disturbances. 
The  citizens  sided  with  the  malcontents, 
who  after  a  bloody  fray  with  the  Abbot's 
servants,  drove  him  to  take  refuge  in  the 
neighbouring  and  rival  cloister  of  Christ 
Church.  The  monks  were  scourged  for 
their  offence,  though  privately  as  some 
solace  to  their  feelings,  and  then  dispersed 
among  other  convents,  but  the  riotous 
citizens  were  blinded. 

At  the  consecration  of  Anselm  in  1093 
Walkelin  at  the  request  of  Maurice,  Bishop 
of  London,  read  in  his  stead  the  formal 
document,  which  described  the  special 
circumstances  of  the  rite,  and  which  gave 
occasion  to  the  protest  of  the  Archbishop 
of  York,  in  consequence  of  which  a  change 
of  phrase  was  made,  and  Canterbury  was 
named  as  primatial  indeed,  but  not  the 
metropolitan  church  of  all  Britain. 

The  close  relations  with  the  Conqueror 
and  his  son  must  have  in  part  determined 
the  attitude  of  Walkelin  during  the  long 
dispute  between  Anselm  and  Rufus,  which 
began  with  the  request  of  the  former  for 
leave  to  go  to  Rome  to  get  the  pallium 
from  Pope  Urban,  as  the  recognised  symbol 
of  metropolitan  authority.  In  the  earlier 
stage  of  it  at  Rockingham  in  1095  he  is  not 
expressly  mentioned,  and  William  of  St. 
Calais  was  the  leading  figure  on  the  King's 
side,  in  strange  contrast  to  his  earlier  appeal 
from  the  King's  Court  to  the  Pope.  But  the 
Bishops  seem  to  have  been  all  agreed  save 
Gundulf  in  supporting  the  demand  of  Rufus 
that  Anselm,  regardless  of  any  earlier 
pledges,  should  not  recognise  obedience  to 
either  of  the  rival  Popes  till  the  King  had 
decided  on  his  choice,  and  in  this  they  seem 
to  have  been  justified  by  the  accepted  theory 
of  constitutional  usage.  Not  content  with 
much  discreditable  indifference  to  the  Arch- 
bishop's scruples  they  were  ready  to  go 
further  than  the  lay  lords  of  the  Council, 
and  to  renounce  obedience  and  friendship 
towards  him,  if  he  still  refused  to  yield. 
Meantime  they  had  urged  him  repeatedly 
to  win  the  royal  favour  by  large  gifts  of 
money,  which  could  be  raised  only  by 
oppression  of  the  Archbishop's  tenants. 

The  pallium,  however,  was  brought  over 
by  a  legate,  and  Urban  recognised  by 
Rufus,  and  harmony  appeared  to  be  restored. 
Acting  on  the  advice  of  Walkelin  and 
Gundulf  the  Primate  contributed  liberally 
to  the  sum  which  Rufus  paid  his  brother  to 
leave  Normandy  in  pawn  to  him  when 
Robert  started  as  crusader.  Anselm's 
quota  was  taken  from  the  Cathedral 
Treasury,  but  the  income  of  a  manor  was 
assigned  for  seven  years  in  repayment  of 
the  loan. 

The  peace  was  soon  disturbed  by  royal 
indignities  and  threats,  and  Anselm  in 
despair  applied  repeatedly  for  leave  to 
travel  to  Rome  to  take  counsel  with  the 
Pope,  saying  when  leave  was  finally  re- 
fused at  a  council  held  in  Winchester, 
that  he  would  go  at  any  cost,  and  obey 
God  rather  than  man.  "  Surely,"  said 
Walkelin,  "  resolute  as  you  are  well  known 
to  be,  you  will  not  persist  in  forfeiting  your 
office,  and  the  chances  of  usefulness  which 
it  carries  with  it,  for  the  sake  of  a  visit  to 
the  Pope."  The  answer  was,  "I  shall 
indeed  persist."  It  was  the  King's  un- 
doubted right,  though  harshly  exercised,  to 
withhold  permission,  and  it  was  not  clear 
that  duty  to  God  required  Anselm  to  act 
on  his  own  strong  desire.  A  certain 
impatience  at  the  Saint's  uncompromising 
firmness  is  apparent  in  the  exclamation  of 
the  Bishop,  and  his  own  character  seems 
to  have  been  cast  in  quite  a  different  mould, 
with  somewhat  more  of  the  courtier's 
pliancy,  or  at  least  of  the  prudence  of  a 
statesman  versed  in  the  conduct  of  affairs. 
For  he  retained  »the  confidence  of  the 
Red  King  to  the  last,  shared  it  even  with 
the  notorious  Ranulf  Flambard,  who  was 
execrated  as  the  subtle  contriver  of  so 
many  fiscal  oppressions  and  ecclesiastical 
misdeeds.  Together  they  acted  as  regents 
for  the  King  in  1097,  when  he  left  England 
for  Normandy,  and  the  many  vacant  bene- 
fices and  plundered  churches  must  have 
been  a  sore  burden  on  a  scrupulous  con- 
science. Long  before  indeed  the  King  had 
carried  off,  says  the  local  annalist,  a  large 
sum  from  the  Cathedral  Treasury  at 


On  Christmas  morn,  1098,  came  the 
royal  bidding  to  send  immediately  supplies 
of  money  which  could  be  raised  only  by 
oppression  of  the  poor  or  of  the  Church. 
Weary  of  office,  Walkelin  prayed  to  be 
released,  and  ten  days  afterwards  came  the 
answer,  says  the  chronicler,  and  he  was 
freed  for  ever  from  the  miseries  of  this 
sinful  world 

At  Winchester  he  left  only  affectionate 
memories  behind  him.  The  monks  who 
eyed  him  at  first  with  natural  resentment 
as  desirous  to  displace  them  in  the  interest 
of  seculars,  found  him  so  full  of  gentle 
courtesies,  so  considerate  in  his  demeanour 
towards  them,  that  they  credited,  and  left 
on  record  in  their  annals,  the  fancy  that  he 
deplored  his  early  scheme  of  innovation  as 
a  mistaken  disparagement  of  the  monastic 
life.  More  probably,  however,  he  had  been 
guided  by  a  statesmanlike  perception  of  a 
large  ideal  of  a  cathedral  chapter,  in  its 
relations  with  the  bishop  and  the  whole 
diocese,  such  as  Remigius,  himself  a  monk, 
brought  from  his  Norman  home  to  realize 
at  Lincoln.  But  when  that  design  had 
failed  Walkelin  was  too  generous  to  shew 
petty  irritation  in  his  treatment  of  the 
monks  with  whom  he  had  no  personal 
quarrel,  to  whose  austere  discipline  indeed 
he  was  more  and  more  attracted.  For  he 
built  grandly,  but  lived  simply,  and  as  time 
went  on,  he  grew  more  ascetic  in  his  habits. 
His  brother  Simeon,  whom  he  had  made 
Prior  at  St.  Swithun's,  had  laid  stress  on 
the  use  of  fish  instead  of  meat.  With  the 
help  of  a  skilful  cook  he  made  the  Lenten 
fare  so  palatable  that  the  monks  begged  to 
have  more  of  it  instead  of  flesh.  But 
Walkelin,  of  whose  innocent  guile  the  story 
may  remind  us,  eschewed  all  forms  of  self- 
indulgence  in  the  spirit  of  a  discipline  as 

rigid   as   that   of  any  of  the  monks  with 
whom  he  loved  to  live. 

One  fault  alone  they  left  recorded  in  their 
annals,  that  he  did  not  give  them  back  the 
lands  which  he  transferred  to  the  building 
fund  of  the  Cathedral,  after  his  apportion- 
ment of  the  estates  belonging  to  the 
Church,  of  which  one  half  was  assigned  to 
the  bishop,  and  the  other  moiety  to  the 
convent.  But  they  owned  gratefully  that 
he  added  to  their  numbers,  and  enlarged 
the  buildings  for  their  use.  And  when  his 
brother  Simeon  was  transferred  to  Ely,  he 
gave  them  an  eminent  scholar,  Godfrey,  for 
their  new  prior,  thanks  to  whom  the  convent 
won  an  enduring  reputation  for  refined  and 
large-hearted  hospitality  to  guests  from 
every  quarter. 

So  we  may  think  of  Walkelin  as  a  good 
man,  fitted  by  tact  and  natural  pliancy  of 
temper  to  steer  warily  through  troubled 
waters  and  win  the  hearts  of  men  alike  in 
high  and  low  degree.  Not  indeed  saintly 
or  heroic,  for  though  himself  of  pure  life 
and  of  unselfish  aims,  he  left  no  trace  of 
any  effort  to  thwart  the  sinister  designs  of 
Flambard,  or  the  truculent  caprices  of  his 
master,  and  showed  scant  sympathy  for  the 
tenderness  of  Anselm's  conscience,  that 
knew  no  respect  of  persons. 

They  laid  him  finally  to  rest  before  the 
steps  under  the  rood-loft,  on  which  stood 
the  silver  cross  of  Stigand.  His  church 
itself  was  one  vast  monument  to  the  good 
works  which  William  of  Malmesbury  des- 
cribed as  sure  to  defy  oblivion  in  ages  far 
remote.  So  nothing  more  seemed  needful 
than  the  simple  inscription  on  the  marble 
slab  above  his  bones — 

Praesul  Walklynus  istic  requiescit  humatus 
Tempore  Wilbelmi  Conquestoris  cathedratus. 


6  go 

Autographs  of  Walkelin  and  Wulstan  from  the  Charter  of  William  I,  A.  D.   1072;    now  in  Canterbury  Cathedral. 

Episcopal  Seal  of  Bishop  William  of  Wykeham 

Episcopal  Seal  of  Cardinal  Beaufort  (1404 — 1447). 



William  Giffard,  1100—1129. 

After  the  death  of  Walkelin,  in  1098,  no 
appointment  to  the  bishopric  was  made 
during  the  two  remaining  years  of  the  reign 
of  Rufus.  It  was  the  practice  of  that 
monarch  to  keep  valuable  benefices  vacant 
and  to  appropriate  meantime  the  income  of 
the  estates.  When  he  died,  besides  the 
manors  of  Winchester,  he  had  possession 
of  those  of  Canterbury  and  Salisbury,  and 
the  lands  of  twelve  abbeys,  and  there  were 
loud  complaints  of  the  havoc  in  the  estates 
and  the  oppression  of  the  tenants  by  the 
fiscal  agents  who  had  little  scruple  in  using 
their  opportunities  in  the  King's  interest  as 
well  as  in  their  own. 

When  appointments  were  made  they  had 
been  secured  commonly  by  large  con- 
cessions, which  impoverished  for  years  the 
traffickers  who  bought  the  posts. 

Henry  I  soon  after  his  accession  rewarded 
the  services  of  William  Giffard,  his  chan- 
cellor, who  had  served  his  father  and 
brother  in  the  same  office,  by  promoting 
him  to  Winchester.  His  surname  had  no 
aristocratic  sound,  if,  as  it  seems  probable, 
it  meant  only  "  fat-cheeked  "  as  a  form  of 
"joufflu,"  but  he  was  always  spoken  of  as 
of  noble  birth,  and  one  eulogist  traces  his 
family  back  to  Charles  the  Great — "  magno 
de  semine  Caroly-magni."  Though  not  yet 
in  priests'  orders  he  had  been  canon  and 
dean  of  Rouen,  and  the  consent  of  that 
Chapter  was  duly  asked  and  granted  as  a 
condition  of  his  transference  as  bishop  to 
another  province.  He  also  held  a  castle  as 
a  fief  from  Robert  Duke  of  Normandy. 
His  apparent  unwillingness  to  accept  the 
office,  and  his  strong  remonstrances  to  the 
monks  who  took  part  in  his  election  may 
have  been  sincere,  but  a  suspicious  phrase 
of  Matthew  Paris  implies  that  like  so  many 
others  in  that  age  he  had  given  largely  to 
the  King  to  secure  the  post,  and  therefore 
affected  an  unreal  reluctance.  He  would 
not,  however,  accept  the  pastoral  staff  from 
the  King's  hands,  being  the  first  as  it  would 
seem  in  England  to  object  to  the  custom  of 
the  Norman  kings.  The  temporalities  were 
made  over  to  him,  the  staff  was  given  to 

him  by  Anselm  by  whom  he  was  inducted, 
and  it  remained  only  to  arrange  for  his 
consecration,  for  contrary  to  the  custom  of 
later  ages,  the  forms  which  sanctioned  the 
spiritual  powers  of  the  bishop  came  last  in 

But  these  were  to  be  delayed  for  years, 
for  grave  difficulties  blocked  the  way.  The 
King,  who  had  earnestly  urged  Anselm  to 
return  to  England,  and  sought  his  good 
offices  in  the  troublous  days  of  the  new 
reign,  with  apparently  sincere  promises  to 
respect  the  rights  and  possessions  of  the 
Church,  had  restored  at  once  the  temporal- 
ities of  Canterbury,  but  now  required  him 
as  a  matter  of  course  to  do  homage  to  him 
as  archbishop  in  the  customary  forms. 
Anselm,  who  had  complied  without  scruple 
once  before,  now  refused  on  the  ground  that 
the  Council  of  the  Vatican  under  Urban  II 
in  1099  had  solemnly  denounced  the 
practice  hitherto  observed  in  Norman 

The  dispute  about  Investitures  in  which 
the  Empire  and  the  Papacy  had  been  long 
arrayed  as  rival  forces,  had  caused  civil 
war  in  Germany,  and  scored  its  fatal  traces 
in  many  a  blood-stained  page  of  history. 
The  symbolic  forms  at  issue,  the  gift  by  lay 
hands  of  the  pastoral  staff  and  ring,  seem 
somewhat  trifling,  but  there  were  momentous 
interests  at  stake,  which  the  great  powers 
of  Church  and  State  saw  clearly.  In  the 
idea!  of  Hildebrand,  who  began  the  strife, 
the  claim  for  feudal  privileges  without  the 
corresponding  feudal  obligations  meant  in- 
dependence from  all  lay  control,  by  means 
of  which  the  clergy  with  their  vast  estates 
and  organised  forces  must  become  the 
dominating  power  in  the  social  system. 
The  claim  put  forth  at  Rome  in  a  council 
of  1075  had  no  effect  in  England,  but 
Anselm  was  present  when  they  were  re- 
peated under  Urban  ;  and  now  he  would 
not  hear  of  homage  from  himself,  nor  would 
he  sanction  it  in  others.  Apart  from  loyalty 
to  Rome  he  might  well  be  influenced  also 
by  his  own  sad  experience  of  the  cringing 
of  submissive  prelates,  acting  as  if  they 
were  the  "  King's  men "  only,  and  not 


ministers  of  the  universal  Church.  He  was 
willing  to  consecrate  the  bishop-elect  of 
Winchester,  but  not  Roger  and  Reinelm, 
clerks  of  the  royal  household,  who  had 
been  recently  invested  by  the  King  as 
bishops  of  Salisbury  and  Hereford.  Henry 
would  have  no  distinction  made  between 
the  three,  and  Gerard,  the  subservient 
Archbishop  of  York,  with  other  prelates 
consented  to  perform  the  rite  instead  of 
Anselm.  Reinelm  refused  at  once  to  accept 
consecration  under  such  conditions,  and 
sent  back  the  staff  and  ring  with  which  he 
had  been  invested  by  the  King,  but  the  due 
preparations  for  the  ceremony  were  made 
in  London  for  the  other  two.  The  church 
was  crowded  for  the  spectacle.  The  con- 
secrating bishops  were  just  ready  to  ask  the 
solemn  questions  when  Giffard,  conscience- 
stricken,  suddenly  declared  that  he  would 
rather  be  stripped  of  all  he  had  than 
consent  to  such  a  ministration  of  the  rite. 
The  proceedings  ended  in  confusion,  as  he 
persisted  despite  royal  threats  and  episcopal 
reproaches.  He  was  driven  away  at  once 
by  the  angry  monarch  ;  his  temporalities 
were  confiscated,  and  for  five  years  he  lived 
in  banishment,  like  Anselm  who  after  some 
delay  and  ineffectual  negotiations  here 
and  at  Rome  was  forbidden  to  return  to 

Giffard  had,  however,  in  1102,  before  the 
crisis  taken  part  in  the  Council  of  West- 
minster in  which  decrees  against  Simony 
were  passed,  and  certain  abbots  found 
guilty  of  it  were  deposed,  and  stringent 
rules  were  promulgated  against  the  marriage 
of  the  clergy.  The  ineffectual  censures 
were  repeated  in  another  Council  of  West- 
minster in  1127,  when  Giffard  and  others 
tried  to  "  eradicate  that  deadly  evil  out  of 
the  Church  of  God."  These  represent  the 
other  side  of  the  ideal  of  Hildebrand,  who 
while  he  aimed  at  making  the  priesthood  a 
dominant  social  power  desired  if  possible 
to  raise  it  above  the  self-interest  and 
nepotism  of  an  hereditary  caste. 

The  importance  ascribed  to  Giffard's 
action,  and  the  value  of  the  example  which 
he  set  are  illustrated  by  the  many  letters 

which  Anselm  wrote  in  his  behalf.  One 
was  to  the  King  in  terms  of  urgent  protest ; 
another  to  Duke  Robert  to  prepare  him  for 
a  visit  from  the  exile  ;  a  third  to  the 
Chapter  of  Rouen  that  it  might  know  fully 
what  had  passed.  He  sent  words  of  comfort 
to  an  Abbess  at  Winchester  pining  for  the 
presence  of  her  bishop.  He  wrote  re- 
peatedly to  Giffard  to  urge  him  to  be  firm 
and  patient,  and  to  warn  him  that  resent- 
ment shewn  at  ill-treatment  from  Duke 
Robert,  and  any  wavering  loyalty  to  his 
feudal  lord,  would  be  misconstrued  as  an 
unworthy  bid  for  concessions  from  the 

At  length  the  chief  powers  in  Church 
and  State  grew  weary  of  the  struggle.  The 
King  who  had  narrowly  escaped  the  risk  of 
excommunication  and  revolt  was  willing  to 
give  way  in  part.  He  had  an  interview 
with  Anselm  at  the  Castle  of  1'Aigle  and 
restored  the  revenues  of  the  See,  and  desired 
him  to  return  to  England.  Anselm  himself 
delayed  till  the  question  of  Investitures  was 
settled,  but  Giffard  seems  to  have  gone 
back  at  once,  for  his  name  appears  among 
other  of  the  bishops  in  a  letter  written  from 
England  at  this  time,  giving  a  melancholy 
picture  of  the  condition  of  the  Church, 
and  begging  Anselm  to  come  back  at  any 
cost  as  the  only  hope  of  securing  peace  to 
the  oppressed.  The  Pope,  who  had  sup- 
ported Anselm  somewhat  feebly,  now 
excused  concession  on  the  ground  that  the 
good  Samaritan  must  stoop  himself  if  he 
would  lift  up  a  man  who  is  lying  in  the 
dust,  a  figure  of  speech  which  Henry  would 
hardly  perhaps  have  deemed  appropriate. 
In  the  compromise  effected  the  realities  of 
feudal  homage  were  retained,  but  the  King 
waived  the  special  forms  of  the  gift  of  the 
ring  and  pastoral  staff.  On  August  nth, 
1107,  theiefore,  William  Giffard  with  four 
other  bishops  was  at  last  consecrated  at 
Canterbury  by  Anselm,  with  the  assist- 
ance of  Gerard  of  York  and  many  other 
prelates,  priests'  orders  having  been  quietly 
conferred  on  him  before.  No  one,  it  was 
noted,  could  remember  the  ordination  of 
so  many  bishops  at  one  time  in  England, 
except  when  Archbishop  Pleigmund  or- 


dained  in  one  day  seven  bishops  to  seven 

Giffard  seems  to  have  regained  the  con- 
fidence of  Henry,  as  an  experienced  servant 
of  the  Crown,  if  no  longer  Chancellor,  and 
we  read  of  several  matters  in  which  he  was 
specially  commissioned  to  act  on  the  King's 
behalf.  Thus  he  had  to  enquire  of  Anselm 
if  the  Bishop  of  Bangor  could  be  transferred 
to  the  See  of  Lisieux,  a  change  for  which, 
as  he  was  told  in  answer,  the  consent  of  the 
prelates  of  both  provinces  would  be  required. 
Early  in  Lent,  1108,  he  was  sent  with 
two  other  bishops  to  act  on  behalf  of  St. 
Augustine's,  Canterbury.  That  Abbey  was 
for  a  long  period  one  of  the  most  stiff- 
necked  assertors  of  conventual  privileges, 
and  jealous  opponents  of  the  rival  cloister 
of  Christ  Church  and  even  of  the  Primate. 
It  now  put  forth  a  claim  to  a  traditional 
right  to  have  its  newly-elected  abbot  con- 
secrated in  its  own  church,  and  not  in  the 
Cathedral  or  the  Royal  Chapel.  When  this 
plea  was  swept  aside  by  Anselm,  it  won  or 
bought  the  favour  of  the  King,  who  sent 
his  envoys  to  beg  that  the  point  might  be 
conceded.  Anselm  refused,  as  the  precedent 
would  be  abused  by  other  religious  houses, 
nor  would  he  allow  another  bishop  to 
officiate  in  his  stead  in  the  King's  presence 
in  the  Royal  Chapel.  Bishop  William 
and  the  others,  less  prescient  than  Anselm, 
struggled  hard  to  satisfy  the  Abbey  and  the 
King,  but  the  only  concession  was  that  the 
rite  took  place  at  Lambeth  not  at  Christ 
Church.  Later  in  the  year  the  bishop  was 
in  attendance  on  the  King,  who  was  waiting 
at  the  seaport  to  cross  to  Normandy.  He 
was  sent  again  to  Anselm,  who  was  arrested 
on  his  way  by  sickness,  to  beg  him  to  come 
no  further,  and  spare  himself  fatigue. 

He  seems  to  have  had  a  special  love  of 
stately  functions,  for  he  was  seldom  absent 
at  the  consecration  of  new  bishops,  and  by 
request  of  the  Primate  Ralph  he  officiated 
in  his  stead  at  the  marriage,  in  1121,  of 
Henry  to  Adelaide  of  Louvain,  when  he 
agreed  perhaps  with  a  chronicler  of  Wor- 
cester that  she  was  "adorned  with  the 
comely  grace  of  a  modest  countenance." 

He  also  took  a  prominent  part  in  two 
matters  of  great  local  interest.  One  of 
these  dealt  with  the  secular  concerns  of 
Winchester.  The  Domesday  of  the  Con- 
queror had  omitted  the  royal  city  from  its 
survey.  To  complete  the  record,  eighty- 
six  of  the  more  substantial  citizens  were 
appointed  to  make  a  house  to  house  inquiry 
respecting  the  lands  paying  the  king's 
taxes  in  the  town  and  to  lay  their  report 
before  the  bishop  and  four  other  com- 
missioners. The  Winton  Domesday  did 
not  include  the  ecclesiastical  properties  and 
need  not  now  detain  us  further. 

The  second  had  to  do  with  the  "  New 
Minster"  of  Grimbald,  where  the  remains 
of  Alfred  had  been  laid,  which  had  suffered 
grievously  for  many  years.  The  abbot  and 
twelve  monks  had  fought  as  patriots  rather 
than  recluses,  and  mostly  died  on  the  fatal 
field  of  Senlac,  and  the  Conqueror's  scoff 
that  the  abbot  was  worth  a  barony  and  each 
monk  a  manor  took  effect  in  the  confisca- 
tion of  many  thousand  acres  of  their  land. 
The  palace  which  he  built  within  their 
ground  at  Winchester  still  further  cramped 
their  already  narrow  site.  By  Rufus  they 
were  handed  over  to  the  tender  mercies  of 
Ranulf  Flambard  who  made  traffic  and 
plunder  of  them  in  the  interest  of  his 
master  as  well  as  of  himself.  Recent 
changes  in  the  ditches  of  the  Castle  and 
the  mill  works  of  the  streams  had  flooded 
their  lowlying  site,  and  crippled  and  racked 
the  rheumatic  limbs  of  the  poor  monks. 
Thanks  to  the  bishop's  influence  the  king 
sanctioned  the  removal  of  the  abbey  to  the 
Hyde  mead  on  the  north  side  beyond  the 
city  walls,  to  which  they  moved  in  solemn 
procession  in  mo.  The  change  was 
greatly  to  the  interest  of  St.  Swithun's,  for 
the  buildings  of  the  two  convents  had  been 
so  closely  packed  together,  that  the  bells 
and  choral  services  of  each  caused  grievous 
disturbance  to  the  other.  The  enforced 
grant  of  800  marks  made  at  this  time  to  the 
king  may  have  been  the  price  of  the  con- 
cession, by  which  St.  Swithun's  gained  the 
old  site  to  the  north  side  of  the  Cathedral 
while  five  days  were  added  to  St.  Giles' 
Fair  for  the  profit  of  Hyde  Abbey. 



There  had  been  complaints  on  the 
bishop's  part  of  want  of  personal  respect  in 
the  scanty  attendance  of  the  monks  of  the 
New  Minster  at  some  of  the  solemn  func- 
tions of  the  Church.  A  royal  charter 
now  definitely  ruled  the  order  of  the 
procession  on  Palm  Sunday  from  the 
Cathedral  to  St.  James'  Church  beyond  the 
Castle  and  the  number  of  the  monks  of 
Hyde  Abbey  who  were  to  take  part  in  it, 
as  also  their  obligations  in  connection  with 
certain  ceremonies  on  high  days  at  the 
bishop's  church. 

There  was  far  more  friction  with  the 
Convent  of  St.  Swithun,  growing  at  last  to 
what  the  annalist  calls  "  enormous  discord." 
The  great  expense  of  rebuilding  the  Cathe- 
dral tower,  which  fell  in  1107,  and  com- 
pleting the  work  of  Walkelin  taxed  the 
resources  of  the  bishop,  and  his  financial 
expedients  caused  long  estrangement  be- 
tween the  convent  and  its  head.  Walkelin 
had  expended  for  a  term  of  years  the  pro- 
ceeds of  several  of  their  manors ;  his  succes- 
sor took  some  of  the  offerings  in  the  Minster 
and  nine  of  the  parish  churches  of  which 
they  were  the  patrons  to  use  probably  part 
of  the  income  for  the  same  object.  The 
monks  after  unavailing  protests  resorted  in 
1 1 22  to  a  strange  symbolic  pageant  to  ex- 
press their  discontent.  They  assembled 
barefoot  in  the  Minster  and  with  their 
crosses  turned  upside  down  they  moved  in 
slow  procession  round  the  church  in  direc- 
tion contrary  to  the  sun's  course  "  to  shew 
their  bishop  that  as  he  defied  canonical 
rule  by  robbing  them  of  their  customary 
dues  so  they  would  ignore  church  order  in 
their  ministrations."  Two  years  more  the 
bitterness  continued  ;  others  were  drawn 
into  the  quarrel  ;  the  king  sympathised 
with  the  monks  ;  the  nobles  sided  with  the 
bishop.  At  length  the  two  parties  were 
reconciled  by  royal  intercession.  "  The 
bishop  went  alone  into  the  chapter  house  ; 
the  monks  with  feet  and  shoulders  bared 
fell  at  his  feet  and  offered  to  submit  to  any 
penance  for  their  fault.  Seeing  such 
humility  and  penitence,  and  being  of  per- 
fect piety  and  most  sweet-tempered,  he  fell 
too  at  their  feet,  and  gave  them  all  they 

had  asked  to  have  restored."  The  advow- 
sons  of  the  nine  parishes  were  secured  to 
them  by  written  deed.  That  the  parishes 
on  their  side  benefited  by  the  concession  is 
unlikely.  Already  the  Council  of  West- 
minster in  1 102  at  which  Giffard  had  been 
present  ruled  that  the  monks  should  not  be 
too  grasping  in  the  parishes  where  they 
were  patrons,  or  leave  too  meagre  a  pit- 
tance for  the  priests  who  served  them.  It 
was  a  council  of  perfection,  for  the  convents 
were  dire  enemies  of  the  parish  churches. 
Year  after  year  the  bishops  had  to  step  in 
and  regulate  by  formal  deed  the  conditions 
of  the  vicars'  stipends.  The  details  fill  a 
large  space  in  the  Episcopal  Registers  of 
early  date,  and  illustrate  clearly  the  greedy 
oppressions  of  the  monks  and  the  insolence 
of  their  servants,  nor  was  St.  Swithun's 
faultless  in  the  treatment  of  its  vicars. 

In  his  later  years  the  bishop  felt  more 
strongly  that  sympathy  for  the  cloistered 
rule  which  was  so  marked  a  feature  in  that 
age  among  all  classes  of  society.  "  When- 
ever he  came  back  to  Winchester,"  says 
the  local  chronicler,  "  he  would  dismount 
at  the  Minster  doors,  and  after  offering 
prayer  with  groans  and  even  tears,  would 
visit  the  monks  and  give  them  his  blessing." 
He  loved  to  be  with  them  as  often  as  he 
could,  came  frequently  to  their  dormitory 
for  his  mid-day  rest,  and  dined  or  supped 
with  them,  taking  the  lowest  place  among 
the  novices.  At  last  he  wore  the  cowl 
himself  and  died  in  the  infirmary. 

The  deepening  of  his  zeal  for  the  con- 
ventual ideal  is  illustrated  by  the  character 
of  the  religious  houses  which  he  founded. 
The  Augustinian  canons,  to  whom  his  active 
sympathies  were  first  attracted,  lived  under 
a  rule  intermediate  between  the  old  system 
of  secular  canons  and  that  of  the  monastic 
houses,  and  made  their  way  rapidly  during 
the  reign  of  Henry  I.  Welcomed  in 
England  by  "  the  good  Queen  Molde "  at 
Aldgate,  they  had  a  home  found  for  them 
at  St.  Mary  Overey's,  in  Southwark,  where 
with  the  bishop's  help  they  had  a  stately 
church  near  to  which  he  built  a  palace 
to  serve  as  a  town  house  for  the  See  of 


Winchester.      On  the  episcopal  manor  of 
Taunton  he  also  founded  another  for  them. 

Only  two  months  before  his  death  in 
January,  1129,  the  "incomparable  prelate," 
as  Rudborne  calls  him,  established  the 
Abbey  of  Waverley  in  Surrey,  daughter  of 
Aumone  in  Normandy,  and  the  first  home 
in  England  of  the  Cistercian  Order,  which 
aimed  at  a  stricter  rule  than  that  of  Cluny, 
and  was  spreading  rapidly  its  austerer 
discipline  and  the  stern  simplicity  of  its 
architectural  forms. 

Besides  the  grateful  record  left  by  his 
own  convent,  which  felt  sure  that  his  earlier 
conduct  had  been  due  to  "the  malignant 
suggestions  of  wicked  men,"  we  have  verses 
written  in  his  honour  by  monks  of  Malmes- 
bury,  Reading,  and  Whitby,  but  we  learn 
little  really  of  his  character  from  their 
verbose  eulogies  which  are  in  marked  con- 
trast with  the  simple  epitaph  placed  over 
his  body,  which  was  laid,  like  Walkelin's, 
before  the  great  Cross  of  Stigand  : — 
Wilhelmus  Gyffard  Praesul  jacet  hie  tumulatus 
Qui  suscepit  adhuc  vivens  habitum  monachatus. 



Henry  of  Blois,  1129—1171. 

The  bishoprics  at  this  time  were  largely 
given  to  clerks  of  the  royal  household,  who 
had  risen  from  a  humble  rank — from  the 
dust,  Orderic  contemptuously  puts  it — and 
done  good  work  in  the  service  of  the 
Crown,  but  the  See  of  Winchester  had 
been  lately  filled  by  two  men  of  noble 
birth,  and  was  now  bestowed  by  the  King 
in  1129,  on  his  nephew  Henry,  youngest 
son  of  Stephen  Henry  Count  of  Blois,  and 
brother  of  the  future  King. 

His  early  training  as  a  monk  of  Cluny 
had  filled  his  mind  with  Hildebrand's  ideal 
of  ecclesiastical  ascendancy,  and  the  dis- 
cipline of  the  great  Abbey  was  no  longer  of 
a  kind  to  wean  him  from  the  pride  of 
worldly  state.  Provision  was  soon  made 
for  him  at  Glastonbury,  of  which  he  was 
made  abbot  in  1126,  and  by  special  sanction 
of  both  King  and  Pope  he  was  allowed  to 
retain  this  office  together  with  the  See. 

It  was  admitted  on  all  sides  that  Stephen's 
accession  to  the  throne  in  1135  was  mainly 
due  to  the  personal  influence  of  the  Bishop, 
who  threw  himself  without  reserve  into  his 
brother's  cause,  over-ruled  the  scruples  of 
the  Primate,  pledged  himself  that  Stephen's 
promises  to  maintain  the  privileges  of  the 
Church  would  be  fulfilled,  and  pushed  on 
the  ceremony  of  consecration  in  which 
only  one  other  Prelate,  Roger  of  Salisbury, 
joined  with  the  Archbishop  and  himself. 
All  three  had  sworn  allegiance  to  Matilda 
as  her  father's  successor  on  the  throne.  It 
was  urged,  however,  that  the  late  King's 
imperious  will  had  insisted  on  the  homage, 
and  that  the  Angevine  connexion  was 
distasteful  to  the  country,  and  Stephen 
himself  most  popular,  while  the  undutiful 
conduct  of  the  Empress  to  her  father  might 
recently  have  changed  his  purpose.  Stress 
was  laid  upon  the  fact  that  there  were  signs 
of  anarchy  on  all  sides  as  soon  as  the 
throne  was  void,  and  a  strong  hand  was 
immediately  needed  to  grasp  the  reins  of 

Ardent  as  was  the  Bishop's  zeal  for  the 
interests  of  the  Church,  he  threw  himself 

without  delay  into  action  of  another  kind, 
which  provoked  the  caustic  jibe  of  a 
chronicler,  that  in  him  was  to  be  seen  a 
new  monstrosity,  which  was  half-monk 
half-soldier.  He  followed  his  brother  to 
the  war,  took  part  in  the  siege  of  Exeter, 
where  he  noted  with  keen  eye  the  signs 
of  exhaustion  in  the  garrison,  for  "  their 
skin  hung  loose  and  flabby,  and  their 
lips  were  dry  with  thirst,  and  they  must 
soon  give  up,"  and  he  was  put  in  charge 
of  the  castle  after  its  surrender.  Like 
others  too  around  him  he  began  to  build 
castles  on  a  lordly  scale  at  Winchester 
and  Farnham  and  elsewhere,  using  the 
materials  of  the  royal  palace  to  raise  his 
own  at  Wolvesey.  Amid  the  anarchy  of 
civil  war  there  was  no  security  for  property 
or  life  save  behind  strong  walls.  Though 
religious  houses  rose  on  all  sides  in  un- 
paralleled numbers,  as  if  to  answer  to  the 
challenge  of  the  men  of  war,  even  they 
were  not  safe  from  wanton  outrage,  and 
the  wail  of  misery  from  every  country-side 
seems  to  echo  in  our  ears  as  we  read  in  the 
chronicles  the  sad  story  of  the  general 
wretchedness  which  "grew  worse  and 
worse"  till  "men  said  that  Christ  and  His 
saints  slept." 

Besides  his  failure  as  a  ruler  Stephen 
disappointed  other  hopes.  In  1136  the 
Archbishop  of  Canterbury  died,  and  the 
Bishop  of  Winchester  was  pointed  out  for 
his  successor,  was  indeed,  says  Orderic, 
actually  elected.  But  dependence  on  Rome 
had  become  stricter,  and  the  Pope's  consent 
to  the  transference  seemed  needful,  in- 
volving long  delay.  Meantime  the  King 
and  Queen  opposed  the  choice  of  Henry 
for  the  primacy,  and  finally,  after  two  years, 
Theobald  was  brought  from  the  Abbey  of 
Bee,  which  had  already  supplied  Lanfranc 
and  Anselm  to  rule  at  Canterbury. 

The  Bishop  had  other  grounds  for 
discontent.  He  had  pledged  his  honour 
that  Stephen  would  respect  the  rights  and 
possessions  of  the  clergy,  but  the  promises 
had  been  already  set  at  nought,  to  humour 
favourites  or  raise  funds,  and  ere  long  two 
powerful  prelates  were  arrested,  Roger  of 

Winchester  Cathedral— Arches  of  Bishop  Henry's  Treasury. 



Salisbury  and  his  nephew  of  Lincoln,  and 
they  were  subjected  to  vile  outrages  and 
forfeiture  of  their  castles  and  their  wealth. 
Henry  protested  in  the  strongest  terms, 
demanding  release  and  restitution.  Failing 
to  obtain  them,  he  had  an  ecclesiastical 
council  convened  at  Winchester  in  August, 
1139,  and  cited  the  King,  his  brother,  to 
appear  before  it. 

The  Archbishop  and  nearly  all  the 
bishops  came.  Henry  presided  by  virtue 
of  his  authority  as  Papal  Legate,  conferred 
on  him  some  time  before  as  a  solace  to  his 
wounded  feelings,  but  held  by  him  in 
reserve  and  only  now  publicly  made  known. 
"Addressing  them  as  scholars  in  a  Latin 
speech"  he  dwelt  at  length  before  his 
brethren  on  the  indignities  inflicted  on  the 
bishops,  and  the  confiscation  of  their  goods. 
The  advocates  of  Stephen,  who  had  not 
ventured  to  defy  the  summons,  urged  that 
the  treasonous  designs  of  the  bishops  were 
well  known,  that  they  were  dealt  with  as 
feudal  lords  rather  than  as  ecclesiastics, 
and  that  their  castles  could  not  be  recog- 
nised by  canon  law.  They  warned  the 
clergy  not  to  appeal  to  Rome,  and  in  face 
of  the  King's  threats  nothing  much  was 
done.  Though  both  Legate  and  Arch- 
bishop implored  Stephen  to  give  way  he 
restored  nothing,  but  submitted  only  to 
some  form  of  penance. 

There  was  further  evidence  next  year 
that  Henry's  influence  with  his  brother  was 
of  little  weight,  as  his  efforts  to  put  their 
nephew  into  the  See  of  Salisbury  proved 
fruitless,  though  he  was  able  to  bar  at 
Rome  the  appointment  of  the  candidate 

When  the  Empress  landed  at  Arundel  to 
assert  her  claims  in  1139,  Henry  advised 
his  brother  that  it  was  useless  to  besiege 
her  there,  while  Earl  Robert  of  Gloucester 
was  raising  in  her  interest  an  army  in  the 
West,  and  when  his  counsel  was  adopted 
he  was  commissioned  to  conduct  her  on  her 
way  to  Bristol.  He  endeavoured  to  arrange 
terms  of  peace  between  the  rivals,  first  at 
Bath  and  afterwards  in  conference  with 
Louis  of  France  and  his  brother  Count  of 

Blois,  but  the  proposals  were  rejected,  and 
the  miserable  strife  went  on.  But  when 
Stephen  was  taken  prisoner  at  Lincoln  in 
1141,  the  judgment  of  heaven  seemed  to 
have  been  given  against  the  King,  and 
then  Henry  too  declared  against  him  and 
promised  his  allegiance  to  Matilda.  In  a 
council  held  at  Winchester  in  April,  in 
which  as  Legate  he  again  presided,  after 
separate  conferences  with  the  bishops, 
abbots  and  archdeacons,  he  dwelt  on  the 
failure  of  Stephen  to  do  justice  and  keep 
peace,  set  forth  at  length  how  he  had  out- 
raged the  bishops,  despoiled  churches,  and 
sold  preferment  in  the  convents,  giving 
heed  to  evil  counsel  only.  The  clergy,  he 
boldly  said,  whose  special  right  it  is  to 
choose  their  ruler,  now  plight  their  troth 
to  the  daughter  of  the  good  King  Henry. 
To  the  citizens  of  London  who  had  been 
invited  to  be  present,  and  who  demanded 
the  release  of  Stephen,  as  also  to  an  envoy 
of  the  Queen,  he  could  only  repeat  in 
substance  the  same  speech. 

Matilda  had  pledged  herself  to  be  guided 
by  the  Bishop,  especially  in  Church  ap- 
pointments, but  it  was  soon  seen  that  her 
masterful  will  brooked  no  control,  and  that 
submission  to  her  rule  was  hopeless.  Then 
Henry  turned  again,  and  retiring  to  Win- 
chester treated  with  the  supporters  of  his 
brother.  Matilda  suspicious  of  his  loyalty, 
followed  him  closely,  and  summoned  him 
to  her  presence.  "  I  will  make  ready,"  was 
his  answer  sent  from  Wolvesey,  where  he 
had  taken  shelter,  when  the  castle  gates 
above  were  opening  for  the  Empress. 
Stephen's  adherents  rallied  to  his  side,  and 
soon  the  city  became  the  battle  ground  of 
hostile  factions,  each  with  its  own  quarter 
and  stronghold.  The  fiery  missiles  poured 
from  Wolvesey  carried  destruction  where 
they  fell,  and  among  the  many  ruined 
homes  and  churches  the  new  buildings  of 
Hyde  Abbey  and  the  nunnery  of  St.  Mary 
were  not  spared.  The  King's  forces  pre- 
vailed, Matilda  fled,  and  once  more  with 
superb  confidence  in  himself  or  in  the 
justice  of  his  cause  the  Legate  addressed  a 
synod  at  Winchester  in  December,  in  which 
he  set  forth  the  causes  of  his  reluctant 



adherence  to  Matilda  and  the  pledges  she 
had  broken,  and  the  duty  since  God  had 
declared  against  her  to  support  King 
Stephen.  He  was  heard  in  reverent  silence 
by  the  clergy,  though  an  envoy  of  the 
Empress  roughly  reproached  him  with  his 
double  dealing  while  the  Legate  sat  un- 

The  war  dragged  on,  and  again  Henry 
plunged  into  the  fray.  He  narrowly  escaped 
being  taken  prisoner  with  his  brother  on 
the  battlefield  of  Wilton,  and  we  hear  of 
him  in  arms  elsewhere.  The  barons  and 
their  fierce  mercenaries  found  less  to 
plunder  now  in  the  exhausted  country,  and 
laid  heavy  hands  on  the  wealth  of  the 
convents  and  the  churches,  while  the 
bishops  for  the  most  part,  says  an  indignant 
chronicler,  showed  base  indifference  to  the 
evil  work.  Henry,  it  is  true,  presided  over 
a  synod  in  London  in  1142,  which  excom- 
municated the  authors  of  such  outrages,  and 
claimed  rights  of  sanctuary  for  the  yeoman's 
plough,  while  it  decreed  that  personal 
violence  to  a  cleric  was  a  crime  from  which 
the  Pope  only  could  absolve,  but  example 
went  for  more  than  precept,  and  the 
chronicler  just  quoted,  a  partisan  of 
Stephen,  bitterly  inveighs  against  the  war- 
like ardour  shewn,  and  the  license  given 
to  their  followers  by  certain  of  the  prelates, 
among  whom  our  bishop  is  first  named. 

Meantime  he  had  been  scheming  to  form 
an  Archbishopric  at  Winchester,  to  be 
provided  with  suffragans  at  the  expense  of 
Canterbury.  He  might  lose  his  authority 
as  '  legatus  a  latere '  at  any  moment,  and 
the  Primate,  Theobald,  would  then  take 
rightful  precedence  over  him.  His  nephew, 
William  FitzHerbert,  had  been  pushed  into 
the  See  of  York,  despite  strong  opposition 
in  the  Chapter,  which  found  much  support 
from  the  clergy  of  the  province  and  es- 
pecially from  Murdac,  Abbot  of  Fountains, 
who  brought  the  great  Cistercian  influence, 
with  St.  Bernard,  into  the  fray.  Not- 
with  standing  the  appeal  to  Rome,  which 
followed,  the  Archbishop-elect  was  conse- 
crated at  Winchester  in  1143  by  his  uncle, 
who  might  naturally  hope  to  be  strengthened 
by  his  help. 

But  the  scheme  came  to  nothing,  though 
it  was  thought  that  a  'paltium'ha.d  been 
sent  from  Rome.  Pope  Innocent  II,  on 
whose  favour  he  depended,  was  already 
dead,  and  the  legatine  commission  and  all 
hope  of  the  archbishopric  were  at  an  end. 
Fresh  appeals  were  entered  against  his 
nephew  of  York,  who  was  suspended  and 
two  years  afterwards  deposed,  having  been 
meantime  entertained  at  Winchester  with 
all  honour  by  his  uncle. 

Archbishop  Theobald  had  set  his  face 
against  the  election  at  York,  and  there  had 
been  friction  already  on  other  grounds, 
followed  by  an  unseemly  feud,  appeals  to 
the  Pope,  and  much  emptying  of  money- 
bags at  Rome. 

In  March,  1148,  a  council  summoned 
by  Pope  Eugenius  III,  met  at  Rheims. 
Stephen,  under  pressure  from  his  brother,  as 
it  was  believed,  forbade  Theobald  to  attend 
it,  and  had  watch  kept  at  the  coast,  but  he 
crossed  over  in  a  frail  boat  at  the  hazard 
of  his  life,  and  was  received  with  open 
arms.  Henry  was  suspended  for  failure  to 
be  present,  and  had  to  go  to  Rome  to 
secure  pardon,  while  his  castle  of  Wolvesey 
was  guarded  by  Hugh  de  Puiset,  his 
nephew,  afterwards  the  great  Bishop  of 
Durham,  (then  treasurer  of  the  See  of 
York),  who  had  prevailed  on  the  citizens 
to  close  their  gates  against  the  new 
Primate,  Murdac,  and  defied  the  excom- 
munication which  ensued. 

A  synod  held  in  London  in  1151  was 
noted  for  the  number  of  appeals  to  Pope 
or  legate,  a  practice  little  known  in 
England,  it  is  said,  before  Henry  favoured 
it  himself,  to  his  own  hurt  however,  for 
in  this  very  synod  there  were  three  such 
appeals  in  which  he  was  concerned.  The 
monks  of  Hyde  Abbey  had  been  at  strife 
with  him  for  many  years,  and  at  Rome  and 
elsewhere  had  been  loud  in  their  complaints. 
He  had  kept  their  headship  vacant  for  six 
years  and  more,  they  urged,  and  applied 
much  of  its  revenues  to  his  own  purposes  ; 
he  had  caused  their  Abbey  to  be  burnt  by 
the  fireballs  from  his  castle,  and  seized  the 
precious  cross  and  the  Church  vessels  that 


were  found  among  the  ruins.  After  much 
debate  and  many  gifts  and  promises,  the 
Bishop  made  his  peace  with  the  Pope  and 
returned  home. 

On  all  sides  men  were  weary  of  the  civil 
strife,  and  in  1153  the  two  old  rivals,  the 
Primate  and  the  Bishop,  met  to  negotiate 
for  peace,  and  the  compromise  which 
secured  the  throne  to  Stephen  and  the 
succession  to  Henry  of  Anjou,  was  their 
joint  work.  With  this  ended  the  power  of 
the  king-maker,  as  Pope  Eugenius  called 
him  in  effect.  When  his  brother  died  in 
1154  and  the  young  ruler  grasped  the  reins, 
Henry  sent  his  treasures  abroad  and 
retired  to  Cluny.  His  strongholds  were 
dismantled,  as  other  '  adulterine  castles ' 
had  been  levelled  already.  He  returned 
a  few  years  later,  outlived  his  old  rival 
Theobald,  and  took  the  chief  part  in  the 
consecration  of  Becket,  bidding  him  be- 
come an  "Apostle  Paul,"  if  he  had  been, 
as  was  urged,  a  "persecuting  Saul,"  but 
warning  him  privately  that  he  must  soon 
lose  the  favour  either  of  his  heavenly  or 
his  earthly  master.  Excused  from  attend- 
ance at  the  Council  of  Tours  on  the  ground 
of  his  infirmities,  he  was,  however,  in  1164, 
prominent  among  the  few  great -ecclesiastics 
who  encouraged  Becket  to  be  firm  in  his 
resistance  to  the  king,  and  the  letters  of 
John  of  Salisbury  shew  that  he  contributed 
substantial  help  to  the  Primate  and  other 
exiles.  His  attitude  appears  to  have  caused 
grave  displeasure,  for  there  was  a  rumour 
to  which  the  Pope,  Alexander  III,  referred 
in  a  letter  to  Becket  that  he  intended  to 
resign  his  See  because  of  his  injurious 
•treatment  by  the  king.  He  was  visited 
however  by  the  monarch  on  his  deathbed 
in  1171,  not  long  after  Becket's  murder, 
and  spoke  of  the  deed  in  terms  of  stern 

He  was  buried,  Rudborne  tells  us,  in 
front  of  the  high  altar,  and  there  not  long 
ago  were  found  in  an  old  coffin  a  crozier 
and  gold  ring,  which  probably  were  his, 
though  Leland  reported  that  he  was  in- 
terred at  Ivinghoe  in  the  nunnery  which  he 

Two  years  before  his  death  he  had 
disposed  of  all  his  remaining  wealth  in 
charity,  reserving  hardly  enough  to  provide 
a  single  daily  meal.  But  he  had  been  long 
before  a  munificent  benefactor  to  religious 
houses  and  the  aged  poor.  He  never 
forgot  his  first  love  Cluny,  made  long  visits 
there  from  time  to  time,  used  his  influence 
with  his  brother  to  provide  endowments, 
paid  off  on  one  occasion  all  the  debts  of 
the  Abbey,  and  maintained  the  monks — 
460  in  all — for  a  whole  year  at  his  expense, 
lending  them  at  another  time  a  thousand 
ounces  of  gold.  Peter,  the  abbot  who 
wrote  repeatedly  in  grateful  terms,  begged 
him  that  besides  and  above  all  other  gifts 
he  would  leave  them  his  body  to  rest  at 
last  within  their  walls. 

At  Glastonbury  on  which  he  spent  forty- 
five  years  of  pastoral  care,  its  historian 
records  a  long  list  of  his  good  works,  both 
on  the  abbey  buildings  and  the  manor 
houses,  as  well  as  the  rich  ornaments  which 
he  bestowed  upon  the  church,  and  the 
special  funds  with  which  he  provided  for 
their  table.  All  these  indeed  have  wholly 
past  away  like  most  of  the  art  treasures 
stored  by  him  in  the  Cathedral,  and  the 
silver  vessels  which  he  gave  to  many  of  the 
parish  churches,  but  one  striking  memorial 
remains,  appealing  to  other  memories  than 
the  ruins  of  Wolvesey,  the  Hospital  of 
St.  Cross  which  he  founded  by  Charter  in 
1136,  to  be  the  quiet  resting  place  of  aged 
poverty,  enriched  by  lovely  types  of  archi- 
tectual  beauty. 

It  is  quite  true  that  the  story  of  his 
treatment  of  Hyde  Abbey  seems  quite 
inconsistent  with  this  large-hearted  charity, 
but  only  one  side  of  the  dispute  is  shown 
us  in  the  convent  pleas.  We  should  think 
hardly  of  some  of  the  archbishops  if  we 
had  only  the  accounts  of  the  monks  of 
St.  Augustine's  or  of  Christ  Church,  and 
certainly  no  paltry  greed  can  have  caused 
him  to  seize  for  himself  their  revenues  and 
cross.  Bounteous  himself,  he  encouraged 
in  others  like  munificence  to  religious 
houses,  as  in  the  quaint  ceremony  at  the 
dedication  of  the  church  of  St.  Pancras 


(Lewes  Priory),  when  William,  Earl  of 
Warren,  gave  seisin  of  the  tenth  penny  of 
his  rents  by  hair  cut  from  his  own  head 
and  that  of  his  brother  by  Bishop  Henry 
before  the  altar.  (Charter  at  the  British 

His  cultivated  tastes  took  many  forms, 
on  which  Giraldus  Cambrensis  is  emphatic ; 
collections  of  rare  animals,  fine  works  of 
art  brought  back  from  Italy,  ingenious 
mechanical  contrivances,  lakes  and  acque- 
ducts  for  landscape  gardening,  ornaments 
to  be  stored  in  the  treasure  chamber  of  the 
Minster,  as  well  perhaps  as  the  Cathedral 
font  ;  literary  works  of  which  one  on  the 
tomb  of  Arthur  was  known  in  a  later  age  ; 
and  possibly  the  design  of  Romsey  Abbey, 
like  the  earlier  portions  of  St.  Cross  ;  these 
bore  witness  to  his  many  sided  interests. 

In  the  spirit  of  his  age  he  dealt  largely 
in  relics.  Not  only  did  he  gather  up  the 
bones  of  kings  and  bishops  that  had  been 
buried  in  the  crypt,  and  store  them  carefully 
in  leaden  chests  above,  but  he  enriched  the 
Minster  further  with  a  foot  of  St.  Agatha, 
as  also  with  a  thumb  of  St.  James  which 
he  carried  off  from  Reading.  To  Glaston- 
bury  he  was  lavish  of  such  gifts,  for  besides 

sundry  fragments  of  twelve  saints  he  gave 
the  convent  some  hair  of  St.  John  and  milk 
even  of  the  Virgin  Mother. 

In  public  life,  amid  the  striking  vicis- 
situdes of  his  career,  his  guiding  piinciple 
was  that  which  he  brought  from  Cluny, 
the  maintenance  of  ecclesiastical  authority 
as  a  dominating  power  in  the  State.  He 
was  true  to  this  when  he  seemed  to  change 
abruptly  in  the  civil  war,  for  he  tried  to  use 
first  one  and  then  another  claimant  to  the 
throne  to  further  the  same  end.  He  was 
doubtless  moved  by  personal  ambition,  but 
in  the  calm  self-confidence  that  he  could 
do  most  service  to  the  Church  if  he  could 
only  take  the  lead.  In  the  same  spirit  he 
supported  Becket  when  withdrawn  himself 
by  old  age  from  the  active  struggle. 

They  admired  him  most  who  knew  him 
best :  the  monks  of  his  own  three  convents. 
They  dwelt  in  their  annals  on  the  virtues 
of  his  private  life,  and  they  dropped  the 
veil  over  the  questionable  doings  of  the 
politician,  the  castle  builder,  and  the  man 
of  war,  while  they  commemorated  with 
unstinted  praises  his  munificence  and  tender 
sympathies,  and  unfailing  affection  for  his 
brethren  of  the  cloister. 


Richard  of  Ilchester,  1173—1188. 

After  the  See  of  Winchester  had  been 
vacant  for  two  years  it  was  bestowed  on 
Richard  of  Ilchester,  an  experienced  official 
who  had  served  the  King  already  in  many 
posts  of  trust.  Born  near  Ilchester,  a 
kinsman  of  Gilbert  Foliot,  the  able  Bishop 
of  London,  and  possibly  of  Bishop  Nigel 
of  Ely,  he  remained  till  he  reached  man- 
hood in  the  diocese  of  Bath,  where  he  held 
some  ecclesiastical  appointment,  and  is  first 
heard  of  as  a  clerk  in  the  chancery  under 
Thomas  Becket,  to  whom  he  owed  his 
advancement  in  the  civil  service,  and 
probably  his  office  of  Archdeacon  of  Poitou. 

A  little  property  at  Ilchester  was  given 
him  by  royal  grant,  and  until  he  became 
bishop  contemporary  writers  named  him 
after  this  estate,  or  from  his  preferment  at 
Poitiers,  where  he  was  made  treasurer  as 
well  as  archdeacon,  without  it  would  seem 
residing  ever  there. 

The  payment  for  his  loyal  services  cost 
the  King  little,  seeing  that  there  was  ample 
church  preferment  at  the  disposal  of  the 
Crown  ;  indeed  he  was  pointed  at  as  a 
pluralist  while  still  archdeacon.  And  wealth 
accrued  in  other  ways,  when  it  was  known 
that  his  word  would  carry  weight  at  court. 
Thus  Abbot  Robert  of  St.  Albans  sought 
his  help  to  recover  a  benefice  to  which  the 
Crown  had  laid  claim,  but  the  price  of  the 
favour  asked  was  two-thirds  of  the  value 
of  the  benefice,  and  to  this  the  abbot 
"benignantly  agreed,"  says  the  chronicler 
of  the  convent,  "though  it  was  hardly 
canonical  to  do  so." 

During  the  long  dispute  with  Becket  he 
was  employed  frequently  as  a  confidential 
agent.  In  1163,  six  times  within  three 
months,  he  "  braved  the  fury  of  the  waves  " 
in  the  endeavour  to  procure  the  Pope's 
assent  to  the  "customs  of  the  realm"  which 
Henry  was  bent  on  having  formally  ap- 
proved. Next  year  when  Becket  fled  from 
the  court  after  the  Council  of  Northampton 
he  was  one  of  the  envoys  sent  to  King 
Louis  of  France  to  prejudice  him  against 
Becket.  "The  King  had  chosen,"  says 
the  monk  Gervase,  "  those  whom  he  knew 

to  be  most  bitter  against  the  primate,  crafty 
in  speech,  unprincipled  in  action,  together 
with  others  who,  though  they  loved  him 
really,  were  too  timid  to  say  a  word  in  his 
behalf."  They  crossed  the  channel  in  a 
storm  which  nearly  wrecked  their  ship, 
while  the  Archbishop  passed  over  the  same 
night  in  a  calm,  and  both  were  at  St.  Omer 
together.  Finding  little  to  encourage  them 
in  the  demeanour  of  the  King  of  France 
they  went  on  to  the  Pope  at  Sens  to  com- 
plain of  Becket's  attitude  as  "  a  disturber 
of  the  peace  of  church  and  state,"  but 
there  again  they  were  not  listened  to  with 
favourable  ears. 

Later  on  he  was  despatched  to  Germany 
on  a  mission  to  the  Emperor  Frederick, 
when  the  English  government  gave  its 
adherence  to  the  Antipope  Pascal,  and  on 
Whitsunday,  1166,  he  was  formally  excom- 
municated by  Becket  at  Vezelai  as  having 
"  fallen  into  damnable  heresy  by  devising 
and  continuing  evil  works  with  the  schis- 
matic Teutons  to  the  ruin  of  the  church 
of  God."  He  seems  to  have  been  much 
troubled  by  this  censure,  for  his  friend 
Ralph  Diceto  the  dean  of  St.  Paul's  wrote 
a  letter  to  soothe  his  wounded  feelings, 
and  to  urge  him  to  respect  the  archbishop's 
sentence  rather  than  to  protest  in  passion. 
Meantime  he  had  been  in  friendly  com- 
munication with  John  of  Salisbury,  Becket's 
intimate  companion,  whose  kindly  influence 
had  delayed  for  a  time  the  vindictive  action 
of  the  exile.  This  indeed  was  formally 
repeated  on  Ascension  Day,  1169,  though 
it  does  not  appear  that  it  was  provoked 
by  any  further  action.  A  mischief-making 
correspondent  of  the  archbishop,  told  him 
next  year  that  the  archdeacon  was  deter- 
mined to  do  all  he  could  to  bar  reconcilia- 
tion, but  of  any  such  desire  there  is  no 
evidence  at  all. 

Diplomatic  errands  represent  only  an 
occasional  variation  in  a  laborious  career. 
His  main  interests  were  financial  and 
judicial,  and  these  were  important  enough 
to  occupy  his  life. 

Richard  Fitz  Neal,  the  writer  of  the 
Dialogus  de  Scaccario  in  which  is  described 
the  curious  procedure  in  the  Exchequer 



chamber,  where  "  the  mimic  contest  was 
waged  between  the  Treasurer  and  his  staff 
and  the  sheriff  or  other  accountant "  round 
the  table  divided  into  squares  like  a 
chessboard,  says  that  a  definite  place  had 
been  there  assigned  to  Richard  the  Arch- 
deacon between  the  Justiciar  and  the 
Treasurer,  and  this  not  by  virtue  of  any 
special  office  which  he  held,  but  because 
of  his  expertness  as  accountant  and  his 
clerkly  skill  in  registration.  These  had 
raised  him  from  subordinate  posts  and 
made  his  services  necessary  to  his  royal 
master,  and  when  a  feudal  aid  was  levied 
for  the  marriage  of  the  princess  Matilda 
in  1168  he  was  employed  throughout  in 
the  assessment  and  collection  of  the  money. 
Judicature  and  finance  were  intimately 
connected  in  those  times,  and  Richard  the 
Archdeacon  who  sat  in  1165  as  a  baron  of 
the  Exchequer  of  Westminster  can  be  traced 
year  after  year  travelling  on  circuit  as  one  of 
the  justices  itinerant  in  different  groups  of 
counties.  Nor  could  his  services  be  dis- 

gensed   with   after  his   promotion    to    the 
ee  of  Winchester. 

Already  in  1171  after  the  death  of  Henry 
of  Blois  he  had  been  made  guardian  of 
the  temporalities  of  the  See  and  of  the 
lands  of  Glastonbury  Abbey,  and  when  the 
King  was  willing  to  relax  his  hold  upon  the 
episcopal  estates,  the  Archdeacon  was  in 
April,  1173,  promoted  with  four  others, 
among  whom  Geoffrey,  Bishop  elect  of 
Ely,  had  served  with  him  in  the  Exchequer, 
and  had  been  like  him,  as  Dean  Ralph 
put  it,  "foremost  and  pre-eminent  in  the 
royal  household."  When  the  Papal  sanction 
was  asked  for  his  appointment,  John  of 
Salisbury,  ignoring  the  repeated  censures, 
styled  him  a  "devout  lover  of  St.  Thomas," 
and  the  chapter  of  Christ  Church,  Canter- 
bury, praised  him  as  "  the  father  of  the 
poor  and  our  protector  in  our  grievous 

The  consecration  of  the  new  bishops 
was  delayed  in  consequence  of  a  formal 
protest  from  the  young  King  Henry  that 
"unfitting  persons"  had  been  intruded  by 
his  father  without  his  consent  into  the 
primacy  and  provincial  churches.  The 

appeal  to  the  Pope  cost  the  Archbishop 
elect  much  anxiety  and  expense  at  Rome 
where  he  went  himself  to  rebut  the  charges 
of  the  agents  of  the  young  Henry  and 
Louis  of  France,  but  the  Papal  sanction  was 
finally  obtained,  and  he  returned  to  con- 
secrate the  four  bishops  on  October  6,  1174. 

Henry  had  been  long  away  from  England, 
marching  to  and  fro  against  the  partisans 
of  the  young  princes,  and  the  justices 
alarmed  at  the  threatening  state  of  things 
at  home,  determined  as  a  last  resource  to 
despatch  Richard,  the  bishop  elect,  as  they 
"  knew  for  certain  that  he  could  speak  to 
the  King  more  confidentially  than  any 
other,  and  describe  clearly  the  danger  to 
the  public  weal  from  the  menaces  of  the 
nobles  and  the  general  disquiet  of  the 
the  people."  He  crossed  the  channel 
speedily  and  found  the  King  in  conference 
with  the  Norman  chiefs.  They  when  they 
heard  of  his  arrival  and  the  object  of  his 
journey  said,  "  if  the  English  send  that 
man  after  so  many  other  messengers  to 
get  their  King  back,  what  else  have  they 
now  to  send  but  the  Tower  of  London." 

Next  year  in  May  a  Council  was  held  in 
Westminster  Abbey,  in  which  he  sat  on 
the  left  of  the  Archbishop,  while  the  Bishop 
of  London  was  on  his  right,  and  the  rest 
in  the  order  of  their  consecration.  The 
canons  of  the  Council  dealt  mainly  with 
the  life  and  behaviour  of  the  clergy,  who 
were  to  have  their  long  hair  shorn  by  the 
archdeacons'  scissors,  and  if  vicars,  were  to 
treat  their  rectors  with  all  due  respect. 

A  Bishop  of  St.  Asaph  was  forced  to 
resign  his  See,  for  his  clergy  complained 
that  he  had  ceased  to  live  among  them, 
pleading  as  excuse  his  poverty  and  the 
danger  of  Welsh  frays.  No  such  complaint 
seems  to  have  been  made  at  Winchester, 
though  they  saw  little  of  their  diocesan, 
but  then  he  was  rich  and  powerful  at  court. 

In  July  he  was  present  at  a  court  held  at 
Woodstock,  when  Prince  Geoffrey's  election 
to  the  See  of  Lincoln  was  confirmed  by 
Papal  bull,  but  the  young  man  was  sent 
to  school  at  Tours  to  get  a  little  learning 
to  fit  him  for  the  post. 


Towards  the  end  of  July,  1176,  he  was 
sent  with  his  old  colleague,  Geoffrey  of 
Ely,  to  meet  a  papal  legate,  Vivian,  at 
Northampton,  and  to  warn  him  to  proceed 
no  further  unless  he  pledged  himself  to  do 
nothing  without  the  sanction  of  the  King  ; 
then  he  was  busy  with  all  the  arrangements 
for  the  escort  of  the  Princess  Joanna  before 
her  marriage  with  the  King  of  Sicily  ;  and 
finally  about  Michaelmas  he  was  appointed 
seneschal  and  justiciar  of  Normandy.  The 
varied  duties  of  his  important  charge 
detained  him  for  a  year  and  a  half  away 
from  England,  and  in  discharge  of  them 
says  the  Dean  of  St.  Paul's,  "  he  paid 
careful  regard  to  the  means  of  different 
classes,  being  tender  of  the  interests  of  the 
poor,  and  watchful  that  the  claims  of  the 
treasury  should  be  duly  met  by  the  pay- 
ments of  the  rich." 

After  his  return  to  England  the  Bishop 
went  back  to  his  work  at  the  Exchequer. 
In  1 179,  Albert,  a  sub-deacon  of  the  Roman 
church,  came  to  summon  the  English  pre- 
lates to  a  Council  at  Rome.  Some  found 
excuse  for  non-attendance  in  bodily  infirm- 
ities or  old  age,  others  "  in  underhand 
arrangements  with  the  nuncio,  not  to  be 
coarsely  described  as  bribes."  Richard  of 
Winchester,  at  the  instance  of  the  King 
of  France  was  allowed  to  benefit  by  "  an 
honourable  repose."  Had  he  been  present 
at  this  third  Lateran  council  he  might  have 
heard  with  interest  the  strong  language  of 
the  decree  against  pluralities,  and  of 
another  which  forbade  clerks  in  holy 
orders  to  act  as  justices  or  undertake 
secular  offices  of  other  kinds. 

Notwithstanding  the  need  of  repose 
which  was  pleaded  in  his  behalf,  he  acted 
as  Chief  Justice  the  same  year  in  a  new 
arrangement  of  the  circuits  of  the  itinerant 
judges,  by  which  five  were  assigned  to  each 
one  of  four  districts,  with  a  bishop  at 
the  head  of  each  except  the  northern 
circuit.  Dean  Ralph,  who  has  most  to 
say  upon  this  subject,  tells  us  of  the  anxiety 
of  the  King  to  find  honest  and  efficient 
judges,  and  of  his  recourse  to  various 
social  classes  for  that  purpose.  In  despair 

of  any  better  choice  "he  raised  his  eyes 
to  heaven  while  scheming  for  his  subjects 
upon  earth,  and  borrowing  spiritual  help 
to  further  terrestrial  interests,  he  selected 
men  who  while  they  lived  among  and  ruled 
over  their  fellow  men  had  aims,  and  senti- 
ments, and  aspirations  more  than  human." 
For  that  object  the  Bishops  of  Winchester, 
Ely,  and  Norwich — all  of  them  old  officials 
at  the  Exchequer — were  made  Chief  Justices 
of  the  realm  that  "if  the  other  judges  had 
scant  regard  for  their  earthly  monarch 
these  at  least  might  shew  more  reverence 
for  the  King  of  Kings  and  not  let  the  poor 
go  short  of  justice,  or  the  rich  be  favoured 
for  their  wealth."  This  he  urges  as  sufficient 
answer  to  objections  based  on  the  rigour  of 
the  canon  law. 

The  Bishop  still  retained  the  unabated 
confidence  of  the  King  who  visited  him 
from  time  to  time  at  one  or  other  of  his 
manor  houses  on  the  eve  of  a  journey  to 
the  continent  or  on  his  way  back.  Thus 
early  in  1182  Henry  was  at  Bishop's  Wal- 
tham,  where  he  made  his  will  leaving 
among  other  legacies  5000  marks  to  the 
religious  houses  of  England  to  be  distributed 
at  the  discretion  of  Richard  of  Winchester 
and  other  trusted  ministers,  as  also  300 
marks  for  portionless  maidens. 

After  1183  the  Bishop's  name  rarelv 
appears  in  the  contemporary  records.  He 
had  in  these  later  years  more  leisure  for 
ecclesiastical  interests  and  for  the  work  of 
the  diocese  which  must  have  been  left 
before  in  the  hands  of  his  Official  and  of 
foreign  bishops.  He  was  present,  we  may 
suppose,  in  the  long  debate  between  the 
monks  of  Canterbury  and  the  bishops  at 
the  end  of  1184,  when  the  convent  re- 
luctantly accepted  Baldwin  the  choice  of 
the  bishops  for  the  primacy.  They  sorely 
repented  their  consent,  and  resisted  with 
stiff-necked  obstinacy  his  scheme  to  use 
some  of  the  estates  of  the  See  in  the 
interest  of  scholarship  and  learning.  The 
bishops  generally  sided  with  the  Primate, 
but  from  the  letters  written  by  the  convent 
three  or  four  years  later,  it  is  clear  that 
it  counted  on  the  sympathy  of  Richard  of 


Winchester,   and  had   indeed   already  re- 
ceived some  support  from  him. 

He  took  part  doubtless  in  the  stately 
ceremony  in  his  own  cathedral  in  1185, 
when  King,  and  bishops,  and  abbots  met  to 
receive  Heraclius  the  patriach  of  Jerusalem, 
who  had  come  with  Roger  de  Moulins,  the 
Master  of  the  Hospitallers,  to  describe  the 
piteous  condition  of  the  Holy  Land  and 
to  urge  a  new  crusade.  The  visit  came 
opportunely  for  the  Bishop  who  was  dis- 
satisfied with  the  administration  of  the 
Hospital  of  St.  Cross,  of  which  the  Order 
of  St.  John  of  Jerusalem  had  been  made 
guardian  by  Bishop  Henry,  the  founder. 
Thanks  to  the  King's  influence,  and  perhaps 
to  the  hopes  of  active  sympathy  which 
may  have  led  to  readier  concessions,  a  new 
arrangement  surrendered  the  management 
to  the  Bishop  of  the  diocese,  and  enabled 
him  to  provide  for  the  daily  food  of  another 
hundred  poor.  A  deed  was  drawn  up  and 
signed  at  Dover,  on  April  10,  and  witnessed 
by  Heraclius,  who  two  months  before  had 
dedicated  the  Temple  Church  in  London. 
In  the  British  Museum  may  be  seen  the 
charter  publicly  exposed  there,  with  the 
clear  characters  of  the  Bishop's  signature 
and  the  fine  impression  of  his  seal. 

The  Annalist  of  Waverley  may  have  had 
in  view  this  anxiety  to  enlarge  the  useful- 
ness of  St.  Cross  when  he  speaks  in  strong 
terms  of  his  charity ;  "  he  hath  dispersed 
abroad  and  given  to  the  poor,  and  his 
righteousness  remaineth  for  ever."  He 
records  also  the  admirable  buildings  which 
he  raised,  and  among  them  was  possibly 
the  hospital  of  St.  Mary  Magdalene  com- 
monly attributed  to  him  on  somewhat 
meagre  evidence. 

He  died  on  December  22,  1188,  and  was 
buried  on  the  north  side  of  the  High  Altar, 
leaving  "a  good  memory"  behind  him  at 
St.  Swithun's,  writes  their  annalist,  though 
we  are  told  that  they  had  complained  of 
him  to  the  King  because  he  wished  to 
reduce  the  number  of  the  dishes  served 
upon  their  table  from  thirteen  to  ten. 
"  Woe  betide  your  Bishop,"  was  the  answer, 
"  if  he  does  not  cut  them  down  to  three, 
which  I  find  enough  for  me  on  my  table 
King  though  I  am."  We  cannot  indeed 
quite  rely  upon  the  sprightly  stories  told 
by  Giraldus  Cambrensis  in  his  Mirror  of 
the  Church,  but  the  old  Benedictine  Abbeys 
at  this  time  "waxed  fat  and  kicked,"  and 
there  was  pressing  need  of  the  reforming 
movements  of  the  Cistercian  and  Carthusian 

Contemporary  notices,  as  well  as  letters 
written  to  him,  imply  a  kindly  and  pacific 
spirit  ;  not  indeed  the  qualities  of  a  scholar 
or  divine,  for  he  was  remembered  rather  as 
the  eminent  financier  and  judge  than  as 
the  "  excellent  prelate"  of  his  epitaph.  He 
had  too  little  time  and  strength  left  after 
the  long  service  of  an  exacting  master  to 
be  able  to  do  much  in  the  way  of  diocesan 
activities  ;  he  had  too  much  common  sense 
to  have  any  such  wish  to  copy  Becket  as 
John  of  Salisbury  ascribed  to  him,  when 
he  desired  to  speak  handsomely  on  his 
friend's  behalf.  We  cannot  say  what  were 
the  buildings  which  were  to  recall  his 
memory  from  one  generation  to  another, 
according  to  the  Annalist  of  Waverley,  and 
even  his  surname  is  only  known  to  us  by 
the  monumental  tablet  on  his  tomb — 

' '  Praesulis  egregii  pausant  hie  membra  Ricardi 
Toclyve  cui  summi  gaudia  sinto  poli." 


Godfrey  de  Lucy,  1189—1304. 

The  successor  of  Richard  of  Ilchester 
was  like  him  an  experienced  servant  of  the 
crown,  engaged  also  in  the  financial  and 
judicial  work  of  the  Exchequer,  but  not 
so  often  sent  on  diplomatic  errands.  His 
father,  Richard  de  Lucy,  "  the  loyal  and 
the  wise  whom  all  the  world  esteems,"  as 
he  was  called  in  varied  phrases  by  Jordan 
Fantosme,  the  poet-chancellor  of  Win- 
chester, spent  a  lifetime  in  official  harness, 
resigning  only  his  office  of  Justiciar  to  retire 
shortly  before  his  death  as  canon  in  the 
convent  of  Lesnes,  which  he  had  founded 
in  the  parish  of  Erith.  His  son  Godfrey 
was  naturally  enlisted  as  clerk  in  the  King's 
household,  and  promoted  to  judicial  work. 
When  in  1179  four  circuits  were  mapped 
out  for  the  itinerant  judges,  he  presided 
for  the  district  beyond  the  Trent,  while  a 
bishop  was  Chief  Justice  for  each  of  the 
other  three. 

He  was  liberally  rewarded  in  the  usual 
way  with  Church  preferment.  Dean  of  the 
collegiate  Church  of  St.  Martin  le  Grand 
in  1171,  then  Archdeacon  of  Derby,  and 
Canon  of  Lincoln  and  of  York,  when  he 
witnessed  the  will  of  Henry  II  in  1182  he 
held  the  valuable  archdeaconry  of  Rich- 
mond, which,  as  Bacon  tells  us,  "  was  es- 
teemed the  best  for  profits  and  privileges 
in  England."  He  was  unwilling  therefore 
to  resign  it  when  elected  by  the  Chapter  of 
Exeter  to  that  See  in  1 186,  which  he  refused 
on  the  ground  that  its  revenues  were  not 
sufficient  for  his  needs.  Shortly  before  he 
had  been  one  of  the  three  royal  clerks  and 
ministers  proposed  by  the  Chapter  of  Lin- 
coln for  the  vacant  bishopric,  but  rejected 
by  the  King,  who  said  that  all  three  were 
rich  enough  already,  and  that  he  would  not 
consent  for  love  or  money  to  have  any  man 
henceforth  for  bishop  save  such  as  God 
should  be  pleased  to  choose.  His  decision 
was  already  made  in  favour  of  St.  Hugh. 

At  the  coronation  of  Richard  in  1189 
Godfrey  followed  immediately  after  the  pro- 
cession of  the  clergy  carrying  the  cap  which 
was  placed  by  the  Archbishop  on  the  King's 
head  after  the  anointing.  A  few  days  later 

the  new  monarch,  who  had  no  such  scruples 
as  his  father  had  expressed,  made  a  large 
number  of  ecclesiastical  appointments,  and 
among  them  bestowed  Winchester  on  God- 
frey, who  was  consecrated  on  October  22 
at  Westminster.  The  same  year  he  was 
made  warden  of  Southampton. 

Richard  was  raising  funds  for  his  Crusade 
by  various  expedients,  and  was  ready,  as  he 
said  himself,  to  sell  the  city  of  London  if 
he  could  find  a  purchaser.  The  Bishop 
therefore  lost  no  time  in  taking  advantage 
of  the  opportunity,  reclaiming  the  two 
manors  of  Wargrave  and  Meon,  which 
had  been  confiscated  by  the  Conqueror, 
paying  three  thousand  pounds  of  silver  as 
purchase  money  to  the  King.  He  gave 
a  like  sum  to  enjoy  his  own  patrimony 
and  to  secure  indemnity  for  the  Cathe- 
dral treasure,  as  also  for  the  stewardship 
of  Hampshire,  and  the  custody  of  the 
two  castles  of  Porchester  and  Winchester. 

The  large  sums  with  which  these  privi- 
leges were  bought  were  beyond  his  private 
means,  and  he  had  recourse  therefore  to 
the  treasure  of  the  Minster,  binding  by 
formal  deed  himself  and  his  successors  to 
repay  the  loan,  and  this  he  actually  did  in 
great  measure  in  1192. 

On  the  eve  of  Richard's  departure  for 
the  East  in  March,  1190,  the  Bishop  was 
summoned  to  Normandy  with  a  few  others 
of  the  King's  chief  councillors,  to  concert 
measures  for  the  safety  of  the  realm  during 
his  absence.  How  little  security  there  was 
in  fact  was  shewn  by  the  massacre  of  the 
Jews  of  York  in  the  same  month.  Even 
when  the  King  was  being  crowned  there 
had  been  riots,  for  the  mob  rose  in  blind 
fury,  and  to  use  the  strong  words  of  the 
chronicler,  "sent  their  blood-suckers  to  hell, 
but  the  people  of  Winchester  was  courteous 
and  humane,  and  spared  its  vermine."  So 
Godfrey  might  rest  with  an  easy  mind  away 
from  home,  and  was  indeed  detained  by 
illness  for  some  time  in  Normandy. 

Meanwhile  the  Chancellor  Longchamp, 
on  the  strength  of  his  authority  as  vice- 
gerent and  the  legatine  commission  pro- 
cured for  him  by  Richard,  was  lording  it 



imperiously  in  England,  offending  all  classes 
by  exactions  in  his  master's  interests  or  his 
own,  and  had  stripped  Godfrey  of  all  that 
he  had  recently  so  dearly  bought.  When 
strong  enough  to  travel  he  returned  in  haste 
and  found  the  Chancellor  in  August  at  the 
Council  of  Gloucester,  was  cordially  re- 
ceived with  signs  of  intimate  regard,  but 
had  only  his  family  estate  returned  to  him, 
losing  the  sheriffdom  and  the  castles.  He 
was  present  however  at  the  Council  of 
Westminster  in  October,  and  sat  on  the 
Legate's  left.  When  the  intrigues  of  John, 
the  King's  brother,  with  the  discontented 
nobles  shook  the  authority  of  the  Chan- 
cellor, it  was  arranged  to  hold  a  conference 
at  Winchester.  The  hostile  leaders  met 
outside  the  gates,  each  backed  by  some 
thousands  of  armed  men,  but  conflict  was 
averted,  and  Godfrey,  and  two  other 
bishops,  were  deputed  to  name  arbitrators, 
who  agreed  on  terms  of  peace,  and  the 
threatening  war  cloud  passed  over  the  city. 

In  the  revolutionary  movements  which 
later  in  the  year  resulted  in  the  expulsion 
of  Longchamp  from  power  the  Bishop  took 
a  leading  part.  He  went  with  three  other 
prelates  to  the  Tower  of  London,  where 
the  Chancellor  was  besieged,  to  deliver  the 
ultimatum  of  the  barons  and  to  require  him 
to  deliver  up  his  seal  and  castles.  But 
"  though  readier  of  speech  than  any  of  the 
party  he  was  silent,"  says  Richard  of 
Devizes,  in  the  course  of  the  dispute  which 
followed,  and  left  to  a  bitterer  enemy  the 
task  of  being  spokesman.  He  had  restored 
to  him  the  castles  of  which  he  had  been 
deprived,  and  shewed  apparently  no  special 
sign  of  animosity  to  the  fallen  statesman. 
He  was  included  however  in  a  list  of  John's 
advisers  and  abettors  who,  on  the  strength 
of  a  papal  mandate,  were  excommunicated 
by  Longchamp,  but  the  sentence  passed 

There  is  no  notice  of  any  further  action 
on  his  part  during  the  two  years  of  social 
confusion  due  to  Richard's  captivity  and 
John's  intrigues,  save  that  he  joined  Arch- 
bishop Hubert  and  other  bishops  at  West- 
minster in  February,  1194,  in  a  formal 

sentence  of  excommunication  against  John, 
and  an  appeal  to  the  Pope  against  the 
legatine  authority  of  Longchamp. 

On  Richard's  return  from  captivity  it  was 
clear  that  he  resented  the  Bishop's  attitude 
to  Longchamp  during  his  absence,  for  he 
came  to  Winchester,  and  there  on  April 
1 5th  he  took  away  once  more  the  sheriffdom 
and  castles,  as  well  as  the  two  manors  that 
had  been  bought,  not  however  restoring 
the  purchase  money,  but  stripping  him  also 
of  a  large  part  of  his  family  estate.  It  was 
no  wonder  that  after  this  treatment  he  did 
not  care  to  be  present  at  the  ceremony 
when  Richard  appeared  in  the  Cathedral 
in  stately  procession  with  his  crown  upon 
his  head. 

Of  Godfrey's  history  for  the  next  four 
years  nothing  is  recorded,  but  in  1 198  he 
was  sent  with  four  other  bishops  to  propose 
terms  of  agreement  with  Geoffrey,  Arch- 
bishop of  York,  who  after  his  long  quarrel 
with  his  chapter  and  with  Richard  had  at 
last  obtained  papal  letters  in  his  favour, 
but  the  negotiations  came  to  little,  and 
Richard  died  soon  after. 

The  Bishop  took  part  in  the  coronation 
of  John  in  May  1199,  but  was  prevented  by 
sickness  from  attending  the  general  council 
of  Westminster  convened  by  Archbishop 
Hubert  in  September,  1200.  He  witnessed, 
however,  the  homage  of  William,  King  of 
of  the  Scots,  in  the  following  November, 
and  on  the  next  day  took  part  in  the  funeral 
ceremonies  of  St.  Hugh  at  Lincoln.  There 
he  heard  perhaps,  if  not  a  spectator,  of  the 
testimony  to  the  wonder  working  power  of 
the  Saint,  when  a  thief  careless  of  the 
gravity  of  the  occasion,  stole  a  woman's 
purse,  and  rinding  his  hands  paralysed, 
broke  out  as  he  stood  there  into  a  Latin 
poem  on  the  incident,  and  finally  renouncing 
Satan  and  all  his  works  regained  his  manual 

In  the  long  struggle  of  the  monks  of 
Christ  Church,  Canterbury,  to  maintain 
what  they  held  to  be  their  rights,  and  to 
limit  the  powers  of  the  primate,  men  of 
influence  on  all  sides  were  drawn  into  the 
fray,  but  Godfrey  seems  to  have  been 



neutral,  and  was  named  by  the  King  in 
1 189  one  of  the  arbitrators  to  arrange  terms 
of  peace  between  Archbishop  Baldwin  and 
the  convent.  Nor  did  their  letter  of  com- 
plaint in  1191  after  the  violent  arrest  of 
Geoffrey  of  York  at  Dover  draw  from  him 
more  than  a  cautious  answer  which  expressed 
sympathy  indeed  for  Geoffrey,  but  made  no 
hostile  comment  on  the  Chancellor  in  whose 
name  the  arrest  was  made. 

After  his  withdrawal  in  his  later  years 
from  the  concerns  of  State  owing  to  royal 
disfavour,  the  Bishop  seems  to  have  devoted 
himself  to  the  interests  of  the  Minster  and 
the  City.  In  the  former  a  new  tower  was 
begun  and  finished  in  1200,  as  we  read  in 
the  Winton  annals.  In  1202  a  confraternity 
was  instituted  for  the  fabric  fund  of  the 
Cathedral,  intended  to  last  for  five  years. 
The  Early  English  structure  at  the  eastern 
extremity,  between  the  gable  end  of  the 
Church  and  the  fifteenth  century  work  of 
the  Lady  Chapel,  was  the  building  in  which 
this  guild  was  concerned,  and  the  Norman 
chapel  with  its  apse  which  before  extended 
beyond  the  presbytery  was  replaced  by  the 
new  aisles,  required  probably  by  the  pro- 
cessions of  the  pilgrims  who  came  to  visit 
the  shrine  of  St.  Swithun,  over  which  stood 
the  tower  raised  a  few  years  before. 

Another  local  work  which  he  took  in 
hand  was  to  improve  the  navigation  of 
the  Itchen  waters  by  means  of  a  new 
canal  which  enabled  vessels  to  make 
their  way  from  Southampton  through  Win- 
chester to  Alresford,  near  which  was  his 
manor  of  Bishop's  Sutton.  At  the  town, 
then  relatively  much  more  important  than 
in  later  days,  a  great  lake  was  made  which 
drained  the  neighbouring  marshes  and 
served  as  a  reservoir  to  regulate  the  water 
level.  Market  privileges  were  provided 
there  with  the  Bishop's  help,  and  the  town 
itself  called  by  him  Newmarket,  but  the 
name  found  no  popular  acceptance  and 
was  soon  dropped.  A  charter  of  King 
John  empowered  the  Bishop  and  his  suc- 
cessors to  charge  certain  dues  on  mer- 
chandize conveyed  through  the  channel 
opened  up  to  navigation. 

In  addition  to  these  works  of  wider 
usefulness,  he  gave  largely  to  the  house 
of  the  Austin  canons  at  Lesnes,  founded 
by  his  father,  the  endowments  of  which 
ultimately  passed  to  the  Hospital  of  St. 
Bartholomew  in  London. 

He  died  in  September,  1204,  and  was 
buried  in  the  central  aisle  of  his  own 
addition  to  the  Cathedral,  probably  under 
the  large  slab  of  grey  marble,  which  was 
formerly  pointed  out  as  covering  the  tomb 
of  King  Lucius,  just  outside  the  Lady 

It  does  not  appear  that  any  epitaph  was 
inscribed  upon  his  tomb,  and  of  his  character 
contemporary  records  do  not  speak  in 
much  detail.  Of  the  confidence  felt  in  his 
capacity  and  judgment  his  official  career 
gives  ample  evidence.  Giraldus  Cambrensis 
mentions  his  fluent  speech  and  ready  wit. 
Richard  of  Devizes  calls  him  a  man  of  no 
slight  merit  and  reputation,  and  says  that 
such  was  his  benignity  and  moderation 
that  even  in  angry  moments  his  conduct 
to  his  subordidates  always  had  a  savour  of 
gentleness.  But  the  lively  monk  of  St. 
Swithun's  was  so  fond  of  jibes  and  sarcasms 
that  it  is  not  always  easy  to  be  sure  that 
his  phrases  are  seriously  meant. 

The  other  chroniclers  who  eulogised  the 
preceding  bishops  have  in  his  case  no 
last  words  of  praise  or  blame,  and  do 
not  even  mention  his  benefits  to  trade  by 
the  improvement  of  the  old  waterways. 
But  if  we  find  in  contemporary  literature 
unusual  reserve  as  to  the  Bishop's  char- 
acter, there  is  no  lack  of  eulogy  of  his  city 
in  his  time,  of  the  gentle  charities  of  its 
monks,  the  wisdom  and  liberal  spirit  of  the 
clergy,  the  courtesy  and  good  faith  of  its 
citizens,  the  beauty  and  chastity  of  its 
women.  It  is  the  monk  of  St.  Swithun's 
however  who  paints  the  picture,  and  pos- 
sibly in  a  mocking  spirit,  as  indeed  in  the 
whole  story  in  which  it  is  imbedded,  that 
of  the  Christian  boy  murdered  there  as  a 
Paschal  victim  by  his  Jewish  master,  in 
which  the  writer  clearly  has  no  faith. 



Peter  des  Roches,  1205—1238. 

In  Peter  des  Roches  we  see  a  prelate  of 
a  different  type  from  that  of  his  immediate 
predecessors,  though,  like  them,  trained  in 
the  service  of  the  Crown.  In  close  attend- 
ance on  three  kings  in  succession,  his  tastes 
and  aptitudes  had  been  determined  by 
the  special  interests  of  Richard  "the  lion- 
hearted,"  whom  he  followed  as  knight  and 
clerk  and  chamberlain.  At  Richard's  court 
it  was  said  in  bitter  jest  that  "  he  was  more 
conversant  with  martial  exploits  than  with 
the  preaching  of  the  Gospel."  By  quite  dif- 
ferent qualities  again  he  must  have  won  the 
confidence  of  King  John,  to  whom  he  ad- 
hered faithfully  when  others  were  estranged 
by  the  monarch's  crimes  and  follies.  He 
had  his  reward  indeed.  Treasurer  of  St. 
Hilary's  at  Poitiers,  Prior  of  Loches,  Dean 
of  St.  Martin's  at  Angers,  with  grants  of 
lands  and  lucrative  appointments,  he  was 
promoted  to  the  See  of  Winchester  in  1205, 
and  though  the  election  was  disputed,  it 
was  confirmed  after  profuse  expenditure 
at  Rome,  where  he  was  consecrated  by 
Pope  Innocent  III  on  the  Sunday  before 

He  brought  back  with  him  a  commission 
to  act  as  Receiver  General  of  Peter's  Pence, 
but  the  orders  given  for  the  collection  were 
ignored  both  by  Church  and  State.  In  the 
troublous  times  of  the  Interdict,  which  fol- 
lowed John's  refusal  to  accept  as  Primate 
the  Pope's  nominee,  Stephen  Langton,  and 
his  seizure  of  the  estates  of  Canterbury, 
Peter  of  Winchester  is  prominently  named 
among  the  evil  councillors  of  the  King. 
His  lands  indeed  were  included  in  the 
general  confiscation  of  Church  property, 
but  were  soon  restored,  including  even  the 
manors  of  Wargrave  and  Meon,  of  which 
Bishop  Godfrey  was  said  to  be  deprived, 
and  he  remained  in  England  when  other 
Bishops  left.  Throughout  he  took  a  leading 
part  on  the  King's  side,  both  in  the  camp 
and  in  the  council  chamber,  being  associ- 
ated with  Geoffrey  Fitz-Peter  the  Justiciar 
in  the  war  in  Wales  in  1209,  and  in  the 
charge  of  the  kingdom  in  1213,  when  the 
King  proposed  to  cross  over  to  Poitou. 

When  Fitz-Peter  died  he  was  made 
Justiciar  in  1214,  to  the  disgust  of  the 
barons,  who  "  were  indignant  that  an  alien 
should  be  set  over  their  heads,"  and  "  their 
anger  became  fury,"  writes  a  chronicler, 
"  when  he  used  his  power  to  carry  out  his 
master's  bidding  to  humble  the  pride  of 
the  stiff-necked  nobles."  At  the  signing  of 
the  Great  Charter  at  Runnymede  he  was 
prominent  on  the  King's  side,  and  was, 
with  the  Nuncio  Pandulf  and  the  Abbot  of 
Reading,  commissioned  to  excommunicate 
the  rebellious  barons.  By  virtue  of  the 
Papal  mandate  they  actually  suspended 
Archbishop  Langton,  who  declined  to  pub- 
lish the  sentence  in  his  diocese,  and  by  like 
authority  they  excommunicated  also  Lewis 
of  France  and  all  his  partisans. 

When  King  John  died  in  1216,  Peter  was 
one  of  his  executors  and  took  the  chief 
part  in  the  coronation  of  the  young  Henry 
at  Gloucester,  and  became  his  guardian  in 
concert  with  the  Earl  Marshal  and  the 
legate.  Next  year  he  was  at  Lincoln  as 
"  experienced  in  warlike  matters  "  among 
the  leaders  of  the  army,  by  which  the 
"  excommunicated  Frenchmen "  were  ig- 
nominiously  routed.  A  contemporary  poet 
describes  at  length  in  old  French  the 
adventurous  spirit  of  the  Bishop,  who  made 
his  way  through  a  storm  of  hostile  missiles 
into  the  castle  of  Lincoln,  encouraged  the 
Lady  Nicola  who  was  besieged  in  it  with 
promise  of  succour,  and  then  issuing  by  a 
postern  gate  found  a  disused  entrance  into 
the  town  which  had  been  walled  up  but 
could  be  cleared.  Returning  to  the  camp 
he  led  a  storming  party  through  the  walls 
into  the  town. 

He  was  less  confident  of  his  prowess  on 
shipboard,  for  shortly  afterwards  when  the 
reinforcements  sent  to  Lewis  by  his  wife 
were  on  their  way  across  the  Channel,  and 
Hubert  de  Burgh  at  Dover  was  eager  to 
attack  them  before  they  could  land  on  the 
coast,  he  and  the  Earl  Marshal  are  reported 
to  have  answered,  "  We  are  not  marines, 
or  pirates,  or  fishermen,  but  you  can  go  to 
your  death."  Hubert  accordingly  "having 
fortified  himself  with  the  viaticum  of  sal- 


ration  and  donned  the  courage  of  a  lion  " 
sailed  out  and  routed  the  invaders,  while 
Peter  was  content  to  put  on  his  episcopal 
attire  and  go  forth  to  meet  the  victors  with 
cross  and  banners  and  solemn  forms  of 
thanksgiving.  The  peace  of  Lambeth 
followed  shortly  and  the  Tower  of  London 
was  handed  over  to  him  by  Lewis  when 
the  French  forces  retired  ;  the  castles  of 
Winchester  and  Newark,  with  the  county 
of  Southampton,  were  also  entrusted  to  his 

The  position  of  the  Bishop  as  guardian 
of  the  young  King's  person  was  now  a  very 
strong  one,  and  for  some  years  his  name 
constantly  recurs  in  the  Patent  Rolls  as 
drawing  up  or  witnessing  the  official 
documents  of  the  Crown,  or  authorising 
them  with  other  members  of  the  Council. 
His  influence  was  only  balanced  by  that  of 
the  Earl  and  the  Justiciar.  While  it  was 
their  policy  to  restore  the  forms  of  con- 
stitutional government  and  to  have  it 
administered  by  English  hands,  he  was  the 
leading  figure  among  the  foreign  servants 
of  John  who  schemed  and  fought  to  retain 
their  privileges  and  keep  their  hold  upon 
the  castles  which  had  passed  into  their 
hands.  The  struggle  lasted  on  for  many 
years,  and  his  intrigues  were  traced  or 
credited  in  the  repeated  movements  of 
open  defiance  or  of  secret  plot  which 
hampered  the  efforts  of  the  loyal  ministers. 
Already  in  1219  on  his  deathbed,  if  we  can 
trust  the  French  poet,  the  old  Earl  advised 
his  son  to  take  Henry  out  of  the  Bishop's 
custody,  and  this  was  done  for  a  time  at 
least,  though  it  was  almost  needful  to  use 

But  he  thought  it  prudent  to  retire  from 
the  scene  awhile.  First  in  1221  he  went  on 
pilgrimage  to  Compostella,  having  his  will 
before  he  started  formally  sanctioned  by 
the  King.  There  was  some  suspicion  of 
treasonous  intrigues  with  France,  whose 
ruler  boasted  of  support  from  English 
nobles,  but  of  this  there  was  no  proof. 
Then  while  present  at  a  solemn  function  in 
his  own  cathedral  he  put  on  the  Crusaders' 
badge  and  had  royal  letters  written  to 
empower  him  to  call  for  contributions  for 

the  enterprise.  It  was  too  late,  however, 
to  join  the  Christian  warriors  at  Damietta, 
to  the  archbishopric  of  which  he  had  been 
elected,  for  the  Crusaders  had  been  forced 
to  surrender  it  already,  so  abandoning  the 
Holy  War  awhile  he  found  other  scope 
for  his  energies  at  home.  In  1223  a  con- 
spiracy was  made  by  certain  barons  to 
take  by  surprise  the  Tower  of  London, 
but  failing  in  their  scheme,  they  fled  in 
haste.  Summoned  to  answer  for  their 
conduct  they  made  profession  of  their 
loyalty,  but  demanded  the  removal  from 
power  of  Hubert  de  Burgh  as  a  waster  of 
the  treasury  and  oppressor  of  the  people. 
Hubert,  who  was  present,  broke  out  into 
passionate  reproaches,  charging  Peter  des 
Roches  as  the  author  of  all  the  mischief, 
the  malignant  cause  of  all  the  misery 
brought  about  in  the  times  of  King  John 
and  his  son.  The  Bishop,  freely  rendering 
railing  for  railing,  threatened  to  drive  the 
Justiciar  from  his  seat  of  power,  even  at  the 
cost  of  all  he  had,  and  rising  from  his  place 
in  council  retired  muttering  curses  as  he 
went  with  the  barons  who  were  privy  to  the 

Meanwhile  the  young  King  had  been 
declared  to  be  of  age ;  the  Bishop's  personal 
relations  with  him  were  less  close,  and  his 
influence  at  court  was  weakened.  He  was 
clearly  in  league  with  the  foreign  adven- 
turers who  were  being  forced  to  surrender 
their  castles  to  the  King.  He  sent  one  of 
his  clerks  to  move  the  Pope  on  their  behalf. 
He  shewed  openly  his  sympathy  for  the 
audacious  Fawkes  de  Bre*aute"  when  an 
outrage  on  one  of  the  judges  itinerant  led 
to  the  capture  of  the  castle  of  Bedford  in 
1224  and  to  the  confiscation  of  his  lands. 
The  long  letter  in  which  Fawkes  pleaded 
for  the  intervention  of  the  Pope  implies 
throughout  his  intimate  relations  with  the 
Bishop,  whose  position  became  now  pre- 
carious. Some  sort  of  reconciliation  with 
his  rivals  had  been  brought  about  by  the 
Archbishop,  and  the  Pope  had  written  to 
Henry  in  his  favour,  but  the  castles  were 
taken  from  his  custody  in  1224,  and  he  was 
summoned  to  answer  for  encroachments  in 
the  forests  of  Hampshire,  though  the  Chase 


of  Crondall  had  been  purchased  by  him 
from  the  Crown.  Provoked  by  these  or 
other  challenges  he  issued  in  full  synod  a 
sentence  of  excommunication  against  any 
who  disturbed  the  rights  of  the  Church  by 
their  aggressions. 

In  1227  the  Justiciar,  whose  control  over 
Henry's  mind  was  now  complete,  advised 
him  to  announce  in  council  his  intention  to 
take  affairs  of  State  into  his  own  hands, 
and  to  remove  from  Court  the  Bishop  and 
his  confidants  who  "  who  had  long  acted  as 
the  King's  pedagogues."  For  a  time  his 
ambitious  schemes  were  checked  at  home, 
but  in  the  East  there  were  battles  to  be 
fought  and  laurels  to  be  won.  Once  more 
he  volunteered  for  a  crusade,  with  many 
others,  possibly  like  them,  encouraged  by 
the  vision  of  the  crucifixion  seen  in  the 
heavens  by  a  travelling  fishmonger  at  Ux- 
bridge.  The  energy  shown  by  Peter  in  the 
East  was  "laudable,"  "strenuous,"  "magnifi- 
cent," according  to  the  chroniclers  who  have 
but  few  words  of  praise  for  him  at  home. 
He  was  busy  in  Syria  fortifying  Ca?sarea 
and  Ascalon  and  Joppa  before  the  Emperor 
Frederic  arrived  to  take  the  lead,  and  with 
him  he  made  triumphal  entry  into  Jerusalem. 
He  won  there  the  respect  of  both  Emperor 
and  Pope,  whom  he  helped  afterwards  to 
reconcile.  On  his  way  back  in  1231,  at  the 
Pope's  request,  he  arranged  a  truce  with 
France,  and  finding  the  King  engaged  in  a 
campaign  in  Wales,  he  "  brought  him  more 
help  than  all  the  other  bishops."  The 
campaign  ended,  he  invited  the  court  to 
spend  Christmas  at  Winchester,  where  he 
entertained  them  with  sumptuous  magnifi- 

He  soon  regained  complete  ascendancy 
over  the  weak  mind  of  Henry,  and  in  1232 
caused  the  chief  Ministers  of  State  to  be 
removed,  replacing  the  treasurer  by  Peter 
de  Rievaulx,  his  creature  if  not  his  son. 
Against  Hubert  de  Burgh,  the  Chief 
Justice,  his  old  rival,  extravagant  charges 
were  brought  forward,  and  a  charter  of 
indemnity,  granted  by  King  John,  was 
swept  aside,  on  the  ground  urged  by  the 
Bishop,  that  its  force  expired  with  the 
donor.  Influential  citizens  were  warned  in 

sinister  terms  not  to  screen  the  fallen 
statesman  from  the  fury  of  a  London 
mob,  from  whose  hands  he  hardly  escaped, 
only  to  be  dragged  from  St.  Edmund's 
chapel  where  he  had  sought  sanctuary. 
Matthew  Paris  describes  in  indignant 
terms  the  swarm  of  needy  and  unscrupulous 
Poitevins  and  Bretons  who  were  welcomed 
here  by  Henry,  2000  at  the  least,  to  occupy 
the  royal  castles,  and  be  entrusted  with  his 
wards — and  be  his  treasurers  and  judges, 
while  the  Bishop  closed  the  King's  ears  to 
all  complaints  of  the  oppression  and  mis- 

Protests,  indeed,  were  vehement  enough. 
Richard,  the  Earl  Marshal,  first  frankly 
warned  the  King  that  the  magnates  of  the 
realm  would  not  serve  on  his  Council  so 
long  as  he  pampered  the  intrusive  aliens, 
but  the  Bishop  retorted  that  the  King  was 
free  to  summon  whom  he  would  to  defend 
his  crown  and  humble  the  pride  of  his 
rebellious  subjects.  The  Earl  was  driven 
to  take  up  arms,  only  it  was  believed  to 
fall  a  victim  to  the  Bishop's  wiles.  Then 
Friar  Bacon,  preaching  before  the  court, 
told  the  King  plainly  that  he  would  have 
no  lasting  peace  till  Peter  des  Roches  was 
driven  from  his  side,  bidding  him,  with  a 
play  upon  the  name,  as  a  cautious  mariner 
beware  of  dangerous  "  rocks."  Soon  voices 
were  raised  in  the  Parliament  of  West- 
minster, October,  1233,  against  the  evil 
councillors  by  whose  intrigues  loyal  and 
upright  men  were  forced  into  exile  and  ruin 
without  trial  by  their  peers.  "  There  are  no 
peers  in  England,  as  there  are  in  France," 
was  his  insolent  reply,  "and  the  King  may 
punish  any  found  guilty  by  the  judges  he 
appoints."  The  other  Bishops  present  with 
one  accord  threatened  to  excommunicate 
the  King's  chief  advisers.  He  appealed 
against  them  to  Rome,  where  he  had 
been  consecrated  by  a  Pope.  The  prelates 
returned  to  the  charge  in  Parliament, 
February,  1234,  and  brought  a  lengthy 
indictment  against  the  malign  influence 
which  made  John  forfeit  his  people's  love, 
lose  Normandy,  and  risk  the  interdict 
and  the  ignominy  of  a  tributary  realm. 
To  that  was  due  the  general  discontent,  the 


crown's  natural  supporters  ousted  by  aliens 
who  lorded  it  over  them  in  castle,  treasury, 
and  hall  of  justice.  Finally,  in  April  the 
new  Archbishop  Edmund,  with  other  pre- 
lates present,  threatened  to  excommunicate 
the  King  as  well  as  his  advisers  if  he  still 
refused  to  listen.  The  "pious"  Henry  then 
gave  way,  and  "sent  Peter  back  to  his 
diocese  to  attend  to  the  care  of  souls,  and 
meddle  no  more  with  the  concerns  of  State." 

The  Primate  further  exposed  the  forgery 
of  a  treacherous  letter,  written  and  sealed 
in  the  King's  name,  to  the  Irish  chiefs  by 
his  adviser  and  without  his  knowledge, 
which  brought  the  Earl  Marshal  to  his 
doom.  The  Bishop,  finding  the  port  of 
Dover  closed  against  him,  sought  shelter 
from  the  storm  with  Peter  de  Rievaulx  in 
the  sanctuary  of  his  cathedral,  and  after 
deeds  of  violence  from  their  pursuers,  laid 
church  and  city  under  interdict,  but  this 
was  taken  off  next  day,  when  the  offenders 
sued  for  pardon. 

The  cure  of  souls  to  which  he  was  dis- 
missed did  not  occupy  him  long,  for  next 
year  the  Pope,  Gregory  IX,  summoned  him 
to  his  side  to  do  him  service  in  the  long 
struggle  with  the  turbulent  Romans.  "  The 
Pontiff  knew  that  he  had  ample  means, 
and  if  they  failed  the  See  of  Winchester 
could  supply  them  freely,  and  he  preferred 
to  see  the  treasure  expended  in  his  own 
behalf  rather  than  elsewhere.  Besides  the 
Bishop  in  his  youth  had  been  in  close 
attendance  on  the  magnificent  warrior  king 
Richard,  where  he  had  learned  to  use  the 
breastplate  more  than  priestly  vestments." 

In  the  war,  in  which  Emperor  and  Pope 
made  common  cause,  he  conducted  a  large 
force  of  men-at-arms  and  bowmen  to 
Perugia  and  helped  the  Pope  to  defeat  the 
Romans  at  Viterbo  with  great  slaughter. 
He  returned  about  Michaelmas,  1236,  in 
shattered  health,  and  his  career  was  nearly 

In  1237  he  declined  to  go  as  the  King's 
representative  to  a  conference  summoned 
by  the  Emperor  at  Vancouleurs  on  the 
ground  that  Henry  had  written  years  before 
to  the  Emperor  to  express  mistrust  of  him, 

and  that  his  position  would  therefore  be 
ambiguous.  The  next  year  he  advised  the 
King  to  give  way  to  the  remonstrances  of 
his  people  angered  by  the  foreign  favourites 
who  had  flocked  in  since  his  marriage  with 
Eleanor  of  Provence.  His  death  soon 
followed,  Qth  June,  1238,  at  Farnham,  "to 
the  irreparable  loss,"  says  Matthew  Paris, 
in  marked  contrast  to  his  earlier  language, 
"  of  the  councils  both  of  Church  and  State." 
He  was  buried  in  the  Minster,  where  he 
had  desired  to  be  laid  in  a  modest  tomb  to 
rest.  His  heart  was  taken  to  the  Abbey  of 

He  made  a  "noble"  will,  we  read,  in 
which  large  sums  were  bestowed  on  the 
religious  houses  which  he  had  founded. 
These  were  Hales  Owen  and  Titchfield  of 
the  Praemonstratensian  order  and  Selborne 
for  Austin  Canons.  The  Hospital  of  God's 
House  at  Portsmouth  was  also  his  creation. 
Two  Cistercian  Abbeys,  Netley  and  Clarte' 
Dieu  were  built  by  his  executors  out  of 
funds  which  he  had  provided  for  the 
purpose.  To  the  house  of  St.  Thomas  of 
Acre,  for  which  he  had  done  much  already, 
he  left  fifty  marks.  Both  Orders  of  the 
Friars  found  a  home  at  Winchester  during 
his  time,  and  for  the  Dominicans  he  built  a 
house  near  the  East  Gate  in  1232. 

In  the  same  year  he  received  instructions 
from  Henry  to  sell  the  underwood  of  the 
Forest  of  Bere,  for  the  making  of  the 
"great  hall  of  the  King  in  the  castle  of 
Winchester,"  and  further  works  were  carried 
out  under  the  direction  of  Master  Elias  of 
Dereham,  to  fit  it  for  the  scene  of  royal 
solemnities  and  the  administration  of  justice. 

To  the  Bishopric  he  bequeathed  a  large 
number  of  sheep  and  oxen  to  be  a  perma- 
nent live  stock,  to  be  left  by  each  later 
prelate  to  his  successor. 

There  is  a  significant  silence  as  to  his 
character  in  the  Annals  of  Winchester,  but 
a  chronicler  of  Tewkesbury  says  that  the 
monks  of  St.  Swithun's  found  him  "hard 
as  a  rock,"  and  in  1219  he  was  instructed 
by  Papal  mandate  to  correct  them,  not- 
withstanding their  "  frivolous  appeal. " 
Trained  in  the  habits  of  the  camp,  he 



brought  an  imperious  temper  alike  to  the 
administration  of  his  diocese,  which  he 
ruled  "vigorously"  (M.  Paris},  and  to  the 
affairs  of  State,  where  his  absolutest  prin- 
ciples clashed  with  the  policy  of  wiser 
statesmen,  whose  opposition  he  resented 
with  vindictive  rancour.  Such  influence 
might  well  encourage  the  violent  self-will 

of  the  tyrant  John,  and  dominate  and  per- 
vert the  wavering  feebleness  of  Henry. 
Not  a  plausible  courtier,  truckling  to  the 
whims  of  his  three  royal  masters,  but  a 
strong  man,  greedy  of  power,  loving  mag- 
nificence and  stirring  action,  with  little  in 
him  of  the  bishop  but  the  name. 



William  de  Raleigh,  1243-1250. 

The  six  years  that  followed  the  death  of 
Peter  des  Roches  were  a  distressing  time 
for  the  community  of  St.  Swithun's  and  for 
the  interests  of  the  see.  King  Henry,  who 
looked  on  the  valuable  appointments  in  the 
church  as  the  suitable  provision  for  the 
Queen's  kinsmen,  had  set  his  heart  on 
putting  William,  elect  of  Valence,  into 
Winchester.  The  monks,  disliking  what 
they  heard  of  him,  and  unwilling  to  accept 
a  foreigner  after  their  late  experience 
proposed  to  elect  William  de  Raleigh,  a 
justice  of  the  King's  Bench,  who  was 
"  learned  in  the  law  and  estimable  in  all 
respects"(Matthew  Paris).  As  a  confidential 
minister  he  had  laid  the  King's  necessities 
before  an  assembly  of  barons  and  prelates 
in  1236,  proposing  that  the  council  should 
control  the  expenditure  of  their  grant.  He 
had  also  been  commissioned  at  the  council 
convened  by  the  legate  Otho,  in  1237,  to 
warn  him  that  nothing  should  be  done  to 
prejudice  the  rights  of  the  Crown,  and  had 
then  remained  as  canon  of  St.  Paul's  to 
watch  over  the  interests  of  the  state  while 
the  constitutions  were  being  published 
there.  Henry,  seeing  that  they  were  loath 
to  accept  his  nominee,  and  wishing  to  gain 
time,  raised  the  frivolous  objection  that 
the  two  archdeacons,  though  electors,  were 
not  present  in  the  deputation  who  came  to 
ask  for  leave  to  proceed  to  an  election  ; 
then  hearing  that  they  were  all  agreed  in 
their  choice  of  William  of  Raleigh,  he 
angrily  remarked  that  his  tongue  had 
caused  the  death  of  more  than  the  sword 
of  William  of  Valence,  whom  they  had 
rejected  as  a  man  of  blood.  The  monks, 
therefore,  were  afraid  to  proceed  further  in 
the  matter.  The  estates  of  the  see  were  sadly 
used  meantime,  while  the  numerous  train 
of  the  royal  household  passed  from  one  to 
another  of  the  manors,  and  lived  on  the 
produce  of  the  lands.  Concerned  at  the 
havoc  caused  by  their  delay,  the  convent 
again  took  steps  to  fill  the  vacant  place. 
The  king  again  interposed,  even  in  their 
chapter,  with  cajolery  and  threats  to  make 
them  accept  his  favourite,  but  they  chose 
Ralph  Neville,  the  Chancellor,  in  his  stead, 

hoping  that  Henry  would  not  reject  his 
trusted  minister.  Loyal  service,  however, 
went  for  little  when  kinsmen  or  favourites 
were  concerned.  Royal  influence  and  ample 
expenditure  at  Rome  caused  the  election  to 
be  quashed,  and  the  great  seal  was  taken 
away  to  mark  the  displeasure  of  the 

Next  year  the  convent  of  Coventry  and 
the  canons  of  Lich field  elected  William  de 
Raleigh  for  their  Bishop,  as  did  also  shortly 
afterwards  the  monks  of  Norwich,  in  the 
hope  in  both  cases  to  escape  rebuffs  by 
the  choice  of  a  confidential  servant  of  the 
Crown.  As  a  man  "of  remarkable  prudence 
and  experience,"  he  balanced  deliberately 
the  advantages  of  the  two  offers,  and 
finally  accepted  Norwich  in  1239,  preferring 
to  be  further  away  from  the  "  untamed 
Welshmen."  He  was  consecrated  at  St. 
Paul's,  where  he  was  welcomed  by  a  vast 
assemblage  who  fondly  hoped  that  "  as  for 
a  Matthew  passing  from  the  receipt  of 
customs  to  the  apostolate,  so  there  would 
be  joy  in  heaven  when  the  courtier  rose  to 
be  a  saint." 

At  St.  Swithun's  meantime  the  troubles 
thickened.  A  monk,  Andrew  of  Brittany, 
"  with  secular  force  and  the  help  of  the  two 
archdeacons,"  as  a  Papal  letter  puts  it,  but 
really  with  royal  sanction,  was  thrust  in 
as  prior,  an  extravagant  and  overbearing 
foreigner,  who  stifled  resistance  with  a 
strong  hand,  and  canvassed  busily  in  the 
interests  of  the  elect  of  Valence,  He 
indeed  was  removed  by  poison  at  Viterbo 
in  November,  but  without  immediate  relief 
to  the  poor  monks  who  had  sent  to  Rome 
to  gain  the  Tope's  consent  to  their  rights  of 
free  election,  but  had  incurred  thereby  the 
displeasure  of  the  King,  who  resented 
vehemently  the  exclusion  of  the  aliens 
whom  he  favoured,  and  the  elecion  of 
William  de  Raleigh  in  which  they  finally 
persisted  in  1240. 

In  vain  did  Archbishop  Edmund  com- 
plain repeatedly  to  the  Pope  of  the  King's 
oppression  of  the  Church,  and  the  bishops 
in  their  synod  denounce  the  evil  councillors 
by  whose  advice  so  many  churches  were 



left  vacant,  and  canonical  election  was 
obstructed.  In  spite  of  such  ineffectual 
censures  men  came  in  1241  to  St.  Swithun's 
from  the  court,  to  ascertain,  with  the  help 
of  the  new  prior,  which  of  the  monks 
persisted  in  their  votes  for  William  de 
Raleigh.  These  were  violently  expelled 
and  subjected  to  shameful  treatment  at  the 
instance  of  the  prior.  The  Bishop  of 
Norwich  was  called  upon  to  pledge  himself 
that  under  no  conditions  would  he  consent 
to  be  translated  to  the  See  of  Winchester, 
but  to  this  he  steadily  refused  assent,  not- 
withstanding insults  and  injurious  treatment 
from  officials  encouraged  by  the  court. 

At  this  time  for  nearly  two  years  the 
Papal  throne  was  vacant,  and  the  question 
of  the  election  to  Winchester  was  in  abey- 
ance, but  Innocent  IV,  soon  after  his 
accession  in  1243,  ratified  the  choice  of  the 
harassed  brethren  of  St.  Swithun's,  and  in 
November  the  Papal  mandate  was  delivered 
for  the  translation  of  William  of  Norwich 
to  the  long  vacant  See  of  Winchester.  He 
started  without  delay  to  take  possession, 
received  in  London  pledges  of  obedience 
from  such  of  his  clergy  as  lived  near  the 
capital,  but  was  warned  by  the  King, 
whose  favour  he  solicited,  not  to  claim  the 
bishopric  without  his  leave.  He  pleaded 
the  over-ruling  duty  of  obedience  to  the 
Pope,  and  ignoring  the  frivolous  objections 
raised  to  the  validity  of  his  appointment, 
made  his  way  in  haste  to  Winchester  on 
Christmas  Eve.  The  gates  of  the  city  were 
closed  in  his  face  by  the  Mayor,  to  whom 
peremptory  orders  had  been  sent,  and  the 
Bishop  was  insolently  refused  admittance 
first  at  one  gate  and  then  another,  as  he 
humbly  walked  barefooted  round  the  walls 
vainly  seeking  for  an  entrance.  Finally  he 
turned  from  prayers  to  threats,  and  laid  the 
city  under  an  interdict,  including  in  his 
anathema  the  monks  who  were  the  par- 
tisans of  Prior  Andrew.  The  manors  of  the 
see  were  seized  and  the  tenants  roughly 
handled  by  the  fiscal  agents,  his  supplies  of 
food  even  were  cut  off,  and  public  notices 
were  issued  denouncing  any  form  of  help 
or  hospitality  that  might  be  offered  to  the 
Bishop.  He  took  refuge  first  with  the 

canons  of  Southwark  and  then  slipped  away 
on  shipboard  to  St.  Valery  and  Abbeville, 
where  he  found  protection  from  the  King 
of  Fiance. 

Meantime  there  was  no  lack  of  influence 
used  in  his  behalf.  Three  bishops  first  at 
Westminster  rebuked  Henry  for  his  tyranny 
and  threatened  to  place  his  chapel  under 
interdict.  Grosseteste  of  Lincoln  wrote  to 
Boniface,  the  elect  of  Canterbury,  to  beg 
him  to  intercede  with  Henry,  and  remind 
him  that  further  opposition  would  violate 
the  Great  Charter.  Boniface  urged  Henry 
to  recall  the  fugitive  ;  Pope  Innocent,  not 
unmoved  perhaps  by  the  large  offering  of 
8000  marks  lately  made  in  his  behalf,  not 
only  swept  aside  the  special  pleading  and 
the  promises  of  Henry's  envoys,  but  sent 
an  indignant  letter  to  insist  that  the  Bishop 
should  be  reinstated  in  his  office  and 
possessions.  Under  this  pressure  resist- 
ance died  away  ;  the  intruded  Prior  Andrew 
had  already  died  ;  Henry  of  Susa,  Warden 
of  St.  Cross,  the  prime  mover  in  the 
intrigue,  retired  with  his  gains  to  his  own 
land,  and  after  terms  had  been  made  which 
secured  the  interests  of  the  courtiers  and 
clerks  who  had  worked  on  the  passionate 
caprices  of  their  master,  the  exile  was  re- 
called, landing  at  Dover  on  April  5,  1244, 
to  the  joy  of  all  but  the  mischievous 
intriguers,  for  "  it  was  hoped  that  his 
experienced  wisdom  and  good  feeling  would 
further  the  best  interests  of  the  realm  as 
well  as  those  of  his  own  see."  He  repaired 
presently  to  Winchester  and  removed  the 
interdict,  but  the  new  prior  and  rebellious 
obedientiaries  were  deposed  and  the  poor 
mayor  was  dealt  with  even  more  severely 
for  the  offence  which  he  had  been  forced 
to  give. 

There  is  little  evidence  of  the  good  effects 
which  had  been  hoped  from  his  return. 
Again  and  again  during  this  period  Pope 
and  King  laid  their  extortionate  hands  on 
all  classes  of  society  in  England,  and  the 
tacit  compact  between  them  made  resist- 
ance almost  hopeless.  The  Bishop  of 
Winchester  was  one  of  the  joint  committee 
appointed  to  deal  with  the  King's  require- 
ment of  a  subsidy  in  1244,  which  was 



granted  after  much  debate.  Two  years 
later  the  Pope's  demand  of  a  contribution 
from  the  English  clergy  was  addressed  to 
the  Bishop  of  Winchester  and  Norwich, 
and  was  enforced  because  the  King  failed 
to  defend  them,  loudly  as  he  had  blustered 
at  the  first.  There  is  no  trace  of  in- 
dependent action  on  the  Bishop's  part. 
Though  reconciled  with  the  King  his 
relations  do  not  seem  to  have  been  cordial 
at  first,  for  he  begged  Henry  to  dine  with 
him  when  he  kept  Christmas  at  Winchester 
in  1247,  as  a  token  that  all  past  offences 
were  forgotten.  The  following  Christmas 
the  same  sign  of  amity  was  given. 

In  1249  the  Bishop  took  part  in  a 
remarkable  scene  in  the  Great  Hall  of  the 
Castle  at  Winchester.  Some  merchants  of 
Brabant  had  been  robbed  on  the  high  road 
by  men  whom  they  recognized  in  the  King's 
court.  In  fear  of  reprisals  from  their  ruler 
Henry  broke  out  into  passionate  reproaches 
at  the  bailiffs  and  freemen  of  the  county  in 
which  robberies  had  been  so  frequent,  and 
ordered  that  the  gates  of  the  Castle  should 
be  shut  upon  them.  The  Bishop  begged 
him  to  remember  that  there  were  many 
strangers  present  who  could  not  be  con- 
federates in  the  crime,  but  himself  formally 
excommunicated  all  who  had  taken  part  in 
the  offence.  The  jury  impanelled  would 
not  convict,  being  in  league  with  the 
offenders.  They  were  charged  with  collu- 
sion and  imprisoned  in  a  dungeon,  from 
which  they  were  to  be  taken  to  the  gallows. 
A  fresh  jury  was  sworn,  who  after  much 
delay,  fearing  for  their  lives,  gave  a  true 
verdict,  and  the  guilty  were  convicted, 
including  many  men  of  substance  and 
official  rank  in  league  with  the  brigands 
whom  it  was  their  special  duty  to  arrest. 

The  same  year  the  Bishop  crossed  the 
Channel  to  visit  the  Pope  at  Lyons,  and 
remained  in  France  eleven  months  to 
reduce  his  establishment  and  domestic 
charges.  He  had  incurred  heavy  debts  to 
secure  the  Pope's  support,  and  struggled 
on  with  crippled  means  till  death  released 
him  from  his  embarassment  in  September, 
1250,  at  Tours,  where  he  was  buried  in  St. 

Martin's  church.  On  his  death-bed  he 
showed  profound  humility,  professing  that 
he  had  vilified  and  betrayed  his  Master's 
cause,  and  must  be  carried  to  meet  the 
Eucharistal  elements,  rather  than  wait  to 
receive  them  on  his  bed. 

The  chroniclers  tell  us  of  the  qualities  of 
his  head,  rather  than  his  heart,  and  we  cannot 
lay  much  stress  on  the  sally  of  King  Henry 
that  his  tongue  had  such  a  fatal  edge.  That 
he  could,  however,  be  merciless  as  a  judge 
and  share  the  people's  prejudices,  appears 
in  the  treatment  of  the  Jews  of  Norwich, 
who  were  accused  of  circumcising  a 
Christian  boy  and  reserving  him  for 
crucifixion.  They  appealed  to  the  pro- 
tection of  the  Crown  as  King's  bondsmen, 
but  the  "prudent  and  wary  Bishop,"  as 
Matthew  Paris  calls  him  in  his  narrative, 
claimed  them  for  the  justice  of  the  Church, 
and  four  of  them  were  bound  on  horses' 
backs  and  dragged  horribly  asunder. 

He  had  intimate  relations  with  the  high- 
minded  Grosseteste,  but  he  was  far  from 
sharing  the  sensitive  scruples  which  caused 
that  Bishop  to  brave  the  displeasure  of  a 
Pope  and  refuse  to  institute  to  a  church  his 
unworthy  nominee.  The  prelate  would 
not  allow  an  ignorant  boy  to  be  presented 
to  a  cure  of  souls,  and  wrote  to  deprecate 
the  anger  of  his  friend,  the  Treasurer  of 
Exeter,  who  threatened  an  appeal ;  Grosse- 
teste, however,  offered  to  provide  the  youth 
with  a  pension  till  he  was  fit  for  better 
things.  Nor  did  he  shew  much  patience 
when  Grosseteste  wrote  a  learned  and 
earnest  letter  to  beg  him  to  use  his  influence 
as  judge  to  bring  the  law  of  the  land  into 
agreement  on  a  certain  point  with  the 
principles  and  canons  of  the  Church,  but 
scoffed  at  what  seemed  to  him  the  Bishop's 
tedious  and  dogmatic  style. 

Straightened  as  he  was  by  debts  incurred 
at  Rome,  he  could  not  be  generous  like 
earlier  bishops  in  benefactions  to  religious 
houses.  The  monks  of  Waverley,  indeed, 
recorded  that  he  had  provided  them  with 
space  for  a  fish-pond  which  they  made  near 
Chert,  but  they  paid  half  a  mark  for  it 
yearly  as  ground  rent.  The  brethren  of 


St.  Swithun's  noted  less  gratefully  that  he 
restored  a  privilege  of  which  he  had  before 
guilefully  deprived  them.  In  their  own 
chronicle  they  said  no  more,  but  Matthew 
Paris  represents  them  as  complaining  that 
they  had  gained  nothing  by  their  long 
stand  in  his  behalf  against  oppressed  treat- 
ment. They  had  hoped  to  find  in  him  a 

kindly  and  considerate  chief,  but  he  had 
proved  a  hard  taskmaster,  and  had  caused 
them  irreparable  loss  (immisericorditer 
persequebatur  et  irrestaurabiliter  dampnifi- 
cavif).  The  spirit  of  faction  had  been  busy 
with  them  under  the  priors  set  over  them 
by  Henry,  and  harmony  was  not  restored 
for  some  years  later. 


Ethelmar  de  Lnsignan,  1260—1260. 

King  Henry  heard  with  scant  concern 
of  the  death  of  William  de  Raleigh,  and 
sent  two  trusted  clerks  without  delay  to  put 
pressure  on  the  convent  to  elect  Ethelmar 
de  Lusignan,  son  of  the  King's  mother, 
Isabella,  by  her  second  husband,  Hugh 
Count  of  La  Marche.  He  had  been  pressed 
lately  on  the  monks  of  Durham  when  that 
see  was  vacant,  but  they  protested  that  he 
was  too  young  and  illiterate  to  fill  so  high 
an  office,  and  were  firm  in  their  resistance, 
though  Henry  threatened  to  keep  the  see 
unfilled  for  many  years  till  his  brother  was 
of  riper  age.  The  wealthy  church  of  Wear- 
mouth  and  many  other  benefices  were 
heaped  on  Ethtlmar,  who  required  a  special 
steward  to  keep  account  of  the  revenues 
thus  accruing. 

A  fortnight  later  Henry  went  to  Win- 
chester to  bring  his  personal  influence  to 
bear  upon  the  monks,  and  a  unique  scene 
in  the  Chapter  House  is  described  for  us 
by  Matthew  Paris.  The  King  took  the 
prior's  place  and  preached  a  sermon  on  the 
text,  "  Righteousness  and  Peace  have  kissed 
each  other."  "  Righteousness  he  would 
personate  himself,"  though  his  whole  life 
belied  the  claim  ;  "  the  cloister  should  be," 
he  said,  "  the  home  of  peace.  By  a  woman 
came  the  Fall,  through  a  woman  came 
Salvation.  So  for  his  wife's  sake  he  had 
been  hard  upon  the  convent,  that  would  not 
make  her  uncle  bishop,  but  for  his  mother's 
sake  he  would  be  gracious  to  it  if  they 
would  only  choose  her  son.  Born  in  their 
city,  baptised  too  in  their  font,  he  himself 
had  a  right  to  their  devotion  ;  his  brother 
right  nobly  born  and  a  goodly  youth  would 
long  warm  them  with  his  kindly  light." 

The  monks  though  not  charmed  by  his 
eloquence  knew  what  to  expect  if  they 
refused  compliance.  From  the  Pope  there 
was  no  hope  of  help ;  the  King,  they 
thought,  would  veto  St.  Peter  himself,  if  he 
were  living.  Their  sufferings  at  the  last 
vacancy  had  done  no  good  ;  they  dared 
not  face  the  like  again.  So  with  heavy 
hearts  they  nominated  Ethelmar,  provided 
papal  sanction  should  be  given  for  an 
acolyte  of  twenty-three  to  be  made  bishop. 

In  due  course  the  dispensation  came, 
obtained  by  the  customary  means,  and 
Ethelmar  was  allowed  to  enjoy  the  tempor- 
alities of  the  see,  without  performing  any 
spiritual  functions,  and  to  retain  besides 
the  ecclesiastical  revenues  already  held, 
and,  adds  Matthew  Paris,  "it  is  believed 
that  there  is  no  church  of  note  in  England 
from  whose  breasts  he  had  not  sucked  the 
milk."  The  latter  privilege,  indeed,  was  for 
a  time  revoked  owing  to  what  a  Papal  letter 
calls  "the  importunate  instance  of  certain 
persons."  In  July,  1251,  he  came  to 
Winchester  to  take  possession,  with  a 
numerous  train  of  followers,  in  the  presence 
of  his  brothers  and  the  king,  and  gave  a 
splendid  banquet  at  which  few  Englishmen 
took  part. 

Next  year,  however,  when  Pope  Inno- 
cent IV  sent  a  mandate  to  the  bishops 
demanding  a  tenth  of  the  church  revenues 
for  the  king's  use,  Ethelmar,  though  with 
some  hesitation,  joined  the  bishops,  headed 
by  Grosseteste  of  Lincoln,  in  refusing  the 
demand,  and  was  therefore  furiously  re- 
proached by  Henry,  who  reminded  him 
that  he  should  have  been  the  last  to  oppose 
the  interests  of  a  brother  who  had  cast  to 
the  winds  every  obligation  in  order  to 
enrich  him. 

A  few  days  afterwards  a  bitter  feud 
broke  out  between  Ethelmar  and  Boniface 
the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  concerning 
the  appointment  of  the  Warden  of  St. 
Thomas'  Hospital  in  South wark,  to  which 
both  laid  claim.  The  nominee  of  the 
former,  and  the  chief  official  of  the  latter, 
were  both  violently  handled,  being  dragged, 
the  one  to  Maidstone,  the  other  to  Farnham. 
The  Primate  fired  off  excommunications, 
which  the  Bishop-elect  declared  of  no 
effect,  but  which  the  Archbishop  went  to 
Oxford  to  repeat.  High  powers  intervened  ; 
the  king  for  his  brother,  the  queen  for  her 
uncle,  the  bishops  for  their  Order's  sake, 
and  at  the  beginning  of  1253  the  kiss  of 
peace  was  interchanged. 

Henry  was  now  importunate  for  a  money 
grant,  as  if  intending  to  start  on  a  crusade, 
and  the  bishops  taking  advantage  of  his 


needs,  sent  in  April  to  entreat  him  to 
allow  the  church  liberty  in  her  elections. 
Cruelly  enough  they  chose  for  spokesmen, 
Archbishop  Boniface  and  the  Bishops  of 
Salisbury  and  Carlisle,  with  Ethelmar,  who 
all  owed  their  places  to  his  favour.  The 
king  with  bitter  irony  deplored  his  errors 
in  the  past,  and  begged  them  to  help  him 
to  correct  them.  Reminding  first  the 
other  three  how  little  their  promotion  had 
been  due  to  their  merits,  he  turned  next 
to  his  brother,  "  and  you  too  my  Ethelmar, 
as  all  know,  I  raised  to  the  noble  eminence 
of  Winchester  by  appealing  to  the  fears 
and  self-interest  of  the  monks,  though  a 
pedagogue  would  have  been  more  suitable 
for  your  ignorant  youth.  So  set  me  the 
example  all  of  you  by  resigning  the  posts 
you  had  no  claim  to,  and  I  on  my  part  will 
promote  henceforth  only  men  of  worth." 
His  hearers  told  him  hastily  that  they  did 
did  not  wish  to  speak  about  the  past,  but 
only  had  in  view  the  future.  Even  after  this 
sally  the  weak  king  is  said  to  have  desired 
to  present  Ethelmar  to  York  when  it  fell 
vacant  in  1255,  and  refused  to  accept  the 
Chapter's  choice,  but  their  Dean,  whom 
they  elected  Archbishop,  secured  without 
delay  the  sanction  of  the  Pope,  which 
overruled  objections. 

The  monks  of  St.  Swithun's  had  soon 
cause  to  rue  their  weak  compliance  with 
the  King's  desires.  Ethelmar  demanded, 
as  their  abbot,  that  his  sanction  should  be 
asked  for  the  appointment  to  every  office 
in  the  convent,  and  the  obedientiaries 
should  present  to  him  their  yearly  state- 
ments of  accounts.  This  was  contrary  to 
old  usage  and  seemed  likely  to  lead  to 
further  claims  and  they  refused.  In  the 
same  spirit  they  had  declined  in  1239  to 
let  the  legate  Otho  see  their  treasure,  and 
had  braved  his  spiritual  thunders.  They 
had  now  to  face  dangers  much  more  real. 
Ethelmar  besieged  them  in  their  church 
and  tried  to  starve  them  to  submission. 
To  escape  further  outrages  many  found  a 
shelter  in  friendly  convents  of  their  Order, 
and  the  Prior  sought  redress  at  Rome,  but 
was  too  poor  to  pay  the  necessary  price. 
The  places  of  the  fugitives  were  taken  by 

men  of  low  character,  thrust  in  by  Ethelmar, 
who  despoiled  the  community,  plunged  it 
in  debt,  and  would  not  stay  his  hand  though 
even  Henry  begged  him  to  desist.  Poor 
prior  William  of  Taunton,  who  had  been 
honoured  with  mitre  and  ring  and  staff  by 
Innocent  IV  before  his  death  in  1254,  had 
vainly  been  lavish  of  his  gifts  at  Rome ; 
Andrew  intruded  in  his  place,  had  bribed 
more  heavily.  The  terms  of  peace  enforced 
by  Pope  Alexander  IV  in  1256  pensioned 
off  William  and  brought  the  fugitives  back 
perforce  to  St.  Swithun's,  where  Andrew 
ruled  in  triumph  by  the  grace  of  Ethelmar, 
who  paid  off  the  convent's  debt  to  Caorsin 
moneylenders,  but  took  some  of  its  manors 
in  return.  There  was  no  harmony  however 
there,  and  the  chronicler  says  that  he 
prefers  to  drop  the  veil  over  the  quarrels 
which  impoverished  and  disgraced  the 
convent  to  the  gain  only  of  the  venal 
Court  of  Rome. 

By  this  time  England  had  grown  weary 
of  misrule.  At  the  Parliament  of  Oxford 
in  1258  the  observance  of  the  Great  Charter 
and  other  concessions  were  demanded,  and 
conceded  by  Henry  and  his  son.  His 
brothers  insolently  refused  compliance,  but 
gave  way  before  the  resolution  of  the 
barons,  and  fled  to  take  refuge  at  Win- 
chester with  Ethelmar.  There  was  no 
safety  there  however  from  the  gathering 
storm.  Surrounded  by  the  barons  in  arms 
they  were  forced  to  swear  that  they  would 
leave  England  and  not  return  to  it  without 
the  consent  of  the  King  in  council.  Their 
estates  were  confiscated,  and  finally  the 
Bishop  elect  and  his  brothers,  with  many 
Poitevins,  crossed  the  Channel  on  July  i8th 
to  Boulogne,  where  they  asked  Louis  IX 
for  a  safe  conduct  through  his  territory  for 
themselves  and  permission  for  Ethelmar  to 
stay  in  Paris  for  a  while  as  a  student  at  the 
University.  Money  on  its  way  to  them 
was  seized  at  Dover  and  elsewhere,  and  the 
safe  conduct  through  France  was  granted 
only  after  requests  humbly  repeated.  Mean- 
while dark  stories  were  abroad  of  outrages 
committed  by  the  servants  of  the  Bishop 
elect,  and  of  English  nobles  poisoned  by 
his  brothers  in  his  house.  It  was  believed 



that  the  barons  would  never  consent  to  his 
return,  and  the  confiscation  of  his  property 
seemed  to  include  the  temporalities  of  the 
see,  and  his  title  to  the  post. 

The  monks  of  St.  Swithun,  regarding  the 
see  as  void,  elected,  in  1259,  Henry  de 
Wengham,  the  Royal  Chancellor,  whom 
King  Henry  agreed  willingly  to  accept  if 
the  Pope  would  not  consent  to  consecrate 
his  brother,  but  that  minister  himself 
prudently  held  back  alleging  his  scant 
knowledge  of  theology  and  personal  un- 
worthiness,  and  notwithstanding  these  mis- 
givings, he  shortly  afterwards  accepted  the 
See  of  London  in  its  stead. 

An  embassy  had  been  sent  to  Rome  to 
complain  of  Ethelmar's  conduct,  which 
indeed  had  been  sufficiently  disclosed 

before  by  Prior  William,  but  Pope  Alex- 
ander IV  swept  aside  the  charges  brought, 
influenced  by  arguments  which  may  be 
easily  imagined,  and  on  Ascension  Day, 
1260,  he  consecrated  him  at  Anagni,  sending 
the  Archbishop  of  Tours  as  legate,  with 
plenary  powers  to  lay  England  under  an 
interdict  in  case  of  refusal  to  allow  him  to 
take  possession  of  his  see.  He  died  how- 
ever on  his  way  at  St.  Genevieve's  in  Paris 
in  December,  and  what  might  have  been  a 
grave  difficulty  was  thus  disposed  of. 

His  heart  was  brought  to  Winchester 
and  buried  near  the  High  Altar,  and 
strange  to  say,  the  convent  chronicler 
believed  that  miracles  had  been  wrought 
over  the  spot.  There  may  have  been 
redeeming  features  in  his  character,  but  as 
to  these  history  is  wholly  silent. 



John  of  Exeter,  1262—1268. 
Pope  Urban  IV  after  consecrating  Ethel- 
mar  de  Lusignan  at  Rome,  had  sent  off  the 
Archbishop  of  Tours  with  a  friar  to  threaten 
England  with  an  interdict  in  case  of  refusal 
to  admit  him.  They  returned  at  once  when 
they  heard  of  his  death  at  Paris  in  Dec- 
ember, 1260,  but  may  have  already  sent 
instructions,  as  it  appears  that  the  Cathedral 
at  Winchester  was  actually  laid  under  an 
interdict  by  a  Papal  notary  from  the  fifth  to 
the  twenty-fourth  of  January,  on  account 
probably  of  the  attitude  of  the  monks. 
They  proceeded  to  take  steps  for  an  election 
without  delay  on  February  3rd,  and  fifty- 
four  of  them,  together  with  the  represent- 
ative of  the  Archdeacon  of  Surrey,  voted 
for  their  former  Prior  William,  then  Abbot 
of  Middleton,  who  had  suffered  much  on 
their  behalf  at  the  hands  of  Ethelmar  and 
the  Pope.  Party  spirit,  however,  and  sinister 
influence  were  still  at  work  in  the  Convent. 
Seven  monks  voted  for  the  intruded  Prior, 
Andrew,  whom  the  chronicler  of  Dover 
contemptuously  styles  "  illiterate  (ydiotam) 
and  utterly  unfit."  He  indeed  had  to  resign 
his  office  soon  after  proceedings  in  the 
Archbishop's  court,  but  appealed  at  once  to 
the  Pope,  and  sent  agents  to  Rome  with 
weighty  compliments  to  influential  members 
of  the  Curia. 

Andrew  had  been  the  tool  of  Ethelmar 
and  the  foreign  favourites,  and  as  might  be 
expected,  the  royal  assent  to  his  election 
was  given  in  July,  1261.  Pope  Urban, 
however,  swept  aside  both  of  the  nominees 
of  the  convent,  and  on  September  loth, 
1262,  consecrated  to  the  bishopric  John  of 
Exeter,  otherwise  called  John  Gervase,  who 
had  been  Chancellor  of  York,  and  was 
opportunely  then  at  Rome.  The  Winton 
annalist  says  somewhat  vaguely  that  the 
action  of  the  convent  was  annulled,  "not 
on  personal  grounds  but  from  motives  of 
another  kind."  The  chronicler  of  Dover  is 
more  outspoken  :  "The  Bishop  was  gener- 
ally believed  to  have  risen  to  that  eminence 
by  divine  providence  because  of  his  great 
learning,  but  so  thought  shortsighted  men. 
He  had  obliged  a  minister  of  the  Papal 
Court  with  6000  marks,  and  had  afterwards 

to  give  as  much  more  to  the  Pope,  who 
had  heard  of  the  transaction,  and  so  left 
the  Court  conscience-striken  with  the  guilt 
of  Simony."  Papal  letters  shew  that  the 
Bishop  had  borrowed  money  at  Rome  from 
merchants  of  Florence  and  Siena  exactly 
to  the  amount  which  has  been  stated.  On 
his  way  home  he  found  King  Henry  in 
France,  ill-content  with  the  galling  restric- 
tions imposed  upon  him  by  the  barons,  but 
he  urged  the  monarch  to  return,  and  at  his 
request  celebrated  mass  at  Westminster  in 
memory  of  King  Edward  the  Confessor, 
going  on  to  Winchester  for  his  enthrone- 
ment there  at  Christmas. 

Andrew,  who  seems  to  have  regained  his 
post  as  prior,  was  not  present,  we  are  told, 
"  fearing  for  his  skin,"  but  the  Bishop  lost 
no  time  in  deposing  him,  and  had  him 
locked  up  in  the  Abbey  of  Hyde.  "  By 
cunning  fraud  he  managed  to  escape  and 
had  the  effrontery  to  spread  the  fiction  that 
he  was  freed  from  prison  fetters  by  the 
merits  of  the  martyred  Thomas."  He  had 
indeed  links  of  a  chain  hung  up  at  Canter- 
bury as  a  thankoffering  to  the  Saint.  He 
then  made  his  way  to  Rome  to  intrigue  in 
a  congenial  sphere. 

On  May  27th,  1263,  the  Bishop,  by 
special  mandate  of  the  Primate,  consecrated 
at  Canterbury  the  Bishops  of  London  and 
Salisbury,  both  of  whom  afterwards  showed 
their  sympathy,  like  him,  with  the  popular 
movement  in  the  civil  struggle. 

The  new  Bishop  had  come  to  rule  in 
Winchester  in  troublous  times.  There, 
even  more  than  elsewhere,  the  distractions 
of  social  strife  were  felt  in  their  full  force. 
There  was  bitter  feud  between  town  and 
gown.  The  Bishop  and  St.  Swithun's, 
which  was  new  released  from  foreign  in- 
fluence, were  for  the  people  and  the  great 
Earl,  their  champion  ;  the  city  was  faithful 
to  the  cause  of  Henry  of  Winchester,  who 
had  loved  his  birthplace  well.  The  citizens 
did  not  spare  the  possessions  of  the  church 
when  they  levied  enforced  contributions 
for  the  royal  cause.  More  than  that,  in 
their  fear  lest  the  monks  should  open  the 
King's  Gate,  of  which  they  had  control,  to 



let  in  the  partisans  of  Simon  de  Montfort, 
they  made  a  fierce  attack  upon  the  convent, 
and  burned  the  King's  Gate  and  the  old 
church  of  St.  Swithun's  over  it,  together 
with  the  neighbouring  houses. 

Next  year,  1264,  the  citizens  suffered  far 
worse  things  than  they  had  inflicted  on  the 
convent.  Simon  de  Montfort,  the  younger, 
besieged  the  town,  and  gaining  an  entrance 
through  one  of  the  windows  of  the  monas- 
tery, forced  the  nearest  gate,  so  obtaining 
possession  of  the  city  and  enriching  his 
followers  with  a  "vast  quantity  of  plunder 
which  was  divided  among  the  satellites  of 
Satan  n  (Wykes). 

If  the  Bishop  was  in  residence  at  Wolve- 
sey  he  had  little  to  fear  from  the  besiegers, 
for  he  had  taken  a  decided  part  in  their 
interest,  being  one  of  the  representatives 
of  the  Barons  in  the  conference  at  Brackley, 
and  prominent  among  the  Bishops  on  the 
side  of  the  Earl  of  Leicester.  The  year 
before  a  Papal  Legate,  the  Cardinal  Bishop 
of  Sabina,  sent  by  Urban,  was  on  his  way 
to  England  with  plenary  powers  to  depose 
any  Bishops  who  refused  to  excommunicate 
the  rebellious  Barons,  and  also  to  disinherit 
thirty  of  the  latter.  His  messenger  arrived 
at  Dover  with  many  letters,  which  were 
seized  by  the  Warden  of  Dover  Castle  and 
sent  to  the  Earl.  The  Papal  policy  was 
well  known  to  be  hostile  to  the  popular 
movement,  for  Henry  had  been  too  con- 
venient a  tool  to  be  flung  aside.  The  safe 
conduct  therefore  which  the  Legate  de- 
manded was  not  given,  and  being  unable 
to  reach  either  King  or  Barons,  he  sent  to 
require  the  Bishops  to  appear  before  him 
at  Boulogne.  Their  plea  that  they  were 
not  allowed  to  cross  to  him  met  only  with 
angry  reproaches,  and  finally  the  Bishops 
of  Winchester,  London,  and  Worcester 
obeyed  and  went  to  represent  their  Order. 
They  were  bidden  to  return  immediately 
and  excommunicate  Simon  de  Montfort 
and  all  his  partisans.  A  Papal  mandate  to 
authorise  this  was  given  them,  but  as  they 
were  on  their  way  homeward  they  were 
forcibly  detained,  either  by  sailors  from  the 
Cinque  Ports  or  by  the  Warden  of  Dover 
Castle,  who  tore  in  pieces  and  flung  into 

the  sea  the  peremptory  letter  which  they 
carried,  and  warned  them  not  to  act  on  it 
on  peril  of  their  lives.  The  Bishops,  who 
had  no  wish  to  do  so  and  were  suspected 
of  collusion  with  their  captors,  reported 
what  had  passed  to  a  great  meeting  of 
prelates  and  magnates  held  at  St.  Paul's. 
A  lengthy  protest  was  drawn  up,  with  an 
appeal  to  the  Apostolic  See  or  to  a  General 
Council,  against  any  sentence  of  excom- 
munication or  interdict,  on  the  ground  that 
as  soon  as  tranquillity  should  be  restored, 
there  would  be  fair  inquiry  as  to  recent 
acts  of  violence  and  outrages  on  the  rights 
and  possessions  of  the  Church,  when 
justice  would  be  done,  and  that  meantime 
it  would  not  be  safe  or  politic  to  take  hasty 

The  baffled  legate  went  back  to  Rome, 
but  succeeded  shortly  after  to  the  throne 
which  was  left  vacant  by  the  death  of 
Urban  IV,  and  his  feelings  towards  Simon 
de  Montfort's  partisans  were  not  likely  to 
be  more  cordial  after  his  unsuccessful 

Before  long  came  the  fatal  reverses  of 
Kenilworth  and  Evesham  with  the  downfall 
of  the  patriots'  cause,  and  in  the  Parliament 
of  Winchester  in  September,  1265,  rigorous 
measures  were  taken  against  the  defeated 
party.  The  Bishop  of  Winchester  may 
have  been  present,  as  it  is  expressly  noted 
that  all  but  four  bishops  were  summoned, 
who  had  been  supporters  of  the  lost  cause, 
and  he  was  not  one  of  the  excepted  •,  but 
the  Legate  Ottobon  arrived  with  plenary 
powers  in  November,  dealing  his  interdicts 
freely  where  he  passed.  One  of  these  was 
levelled  at  the  Cathedral  of  Winchester, 
lasting,  it  is  true,  for  a  few  days  only  ; 
another  on  the  city  itself,  for  which  strangely 
enough  the  reason  given  is  the  entrance 
into  it  of  the  younger  de  Montfort,  from 
which  it  had  suffered  so  severely.  In 
December  the  Legate  held  a  council  in 
London,  at  which  he  censured  publicly  in 
strong  terms  the  bishops  of  London,  Win- 
chester, Lincoln,  and  Chichester  for  siding 
with  rebellious  barons.  He  summoned 
them  to  come  to  him  on  the  Monday 
before  Palm  Sunday,  when  further  instruc- 


tions  were  received  from  Rome,  and  then 
suspending  them  from  office,  he  cited  them 
to  appear  before  Pope  Clement  IV  within 
three  months  to  hear  his  pleasure  from  his 
own  lips.  They  were  charged  in  the  Papal 
rescript  with  disrespect  to  him  when  he 
was  legate  in  the  delay  to  come  when  they 
were  summoned,  and  neglect  to  publish  the 
sentences  pronounced  against  the  Earl  of 
Leicester  and  his  party,  with  having  broken 
their  oath  of  fealty  to  the  King,  with  having 
held  intercourse  with  the  excommunicated, 
which  involved  them  in  like  disabilities, 
and  with  having  taken  part  notwithstanding 
in  divine  service. 

The  Bishop  started  for  Rome  after 
Easter  "  with  a  heavy  heart,  leaving  the 
legate  to  profit  by  the  spiritualities  of  the 
See  which  passed  into  his  hands,  while  the 
king  applied  the  temporalities  to  his  own 
uses."  For  a  year  he  remained  at  the 
Papal  court  suing  for  pardon,  which  one  at 
least  of  his  brother  prelates,  involved  in 
like  disgrace,  obtained  at  a  heavy  price, 
which  he,  perhaps,  was  unable  or  unwilling 
to  offer.  His  death  in  January,  1268,  settled 
the  whole  question,  and  a  grave  at  Viterbo 
was  then  all  that  was  required. 



Nicholas  of  Ely,  1268—1280. 

As  Bishop  John  of  Exeter  had  died  while 
in  attendance  on  the  Court  of  Rome,  waiting 
for  a  pardon  which  was  never  given,  it 
rested  with  the  Pope  to  nominate  his  suc- 
cessor, in  accordance  with  established  usage, 
and  the  See  of  Winchester  was  conferred 
by  him  on  Nicholas  of  Ely,  then  Bishop  of 
Worcester,  who,  says  Wykes,  "  with  the 
greatest  alacrity  bade  farewell  to  his  first 
spouse,  being  captivated  by  the  charms  of 
one  still  more  attractive." 

He  had  been  raised  to  the  Chancellorship 
after  the  Provisions  of  Oxford  (1258),  when 
the  King's  ministers  were  replaced  with 
others  in  whom  the  barons  had  more  con- 
fidence, but  he  was  dismissed  again  from 
office  in  1261,  when  Henry,  released  by 
Papal  dispensation  from  his  pledges, 
claimed  his  earlier  liberty  of  choice.  In 
1262,  however,  he  became  Treasurer,  being 
then  Archdeacon  of  Ely,  and  the  next  year 
he  was  re-appointed  Chancellor,  while  the 
popular  cause  gained  strength.  Though 
the  Great  Seal  was  taken  from  him  more 
than  once,  and  his  powers  were  expressly 
limited  during  the  King's  absence  from 
England,  he  cannot  have  given  much  of- 
fence as  the  barons'  nominee,  for  the  failure 
of  their  cause  in  1265  did  not  involve 
his  fall. 

When  Walter  de  Cantelupe  died  in  1266 
he  was  elected  in  his  place  at  Worcester, 
and  accepted  by  the  King  as  a  "  wise  and 
cautious  man,  conspicuous  alike  for  literary 
eminence  and  refined  demeanour"  ( Wykes}. 
As  such  his  name  stands  first  among  the 
twelve  magnates  chosen  to  arrange  the 
terms  of  peace  at  Kenil worth  in  1268,  when 
the  disinherited  barons  were  allowed  to 
redeem  their  lands. 

Translated  to  Winchester  by  favour  of 
Pope  Clement,  he  was  enthroned  there  on 
Whit  Sunday,  1268,  entertaining  afterwards 
at  a  great  banquet  many  nobles  who  had 
come  there  to  do  him  honour.  A  month 
later  he  was  present  at  Northampton  at  the 
stirring  scene  when  Prince  Edward  and 
many  great  men  pledged  themselves  to 
start  for  a  Crusade,  as  also  when  Edward, 
departing  from  the  shores  of  England  in 

1270,  consigned  his  children  to  the  care  of 
Richard  of  Cornwall,  shortly  before  his 
visit  to  the  Chapter  House  at  Winchester, 
when  he  begged  the  monks  to  pray  for  him 
while  he  was  away. 

At  St.  Swithun's  the  sinister  influence  of 
Bishop  Ethelmar,  and  the  monks  whom  he 
thrust  in,  had  left  disorders  and  a  factious 
spirit  which  were  not  laid  easily  to  rest. 
Debts  had  been  incurred  by  mismanage- 
ment and  intrigues  at  Rome,  and  when  the 
Legate  Ottobon  made  his  visitation  in  1267 
he  ascertained  that  more  than  10,000 
marks  were  owing  to  moneylenders.  Prior 
Valentine  had  resigned,  and  commissioners 
were  appointed  for  a  time  to  rule  the  Priory 
and  restore  its  shattered  credit.  One  of 
the  first  acts  of  the  new  Bishop  was  to 
replace  Valentine  in  his  office  at  the 
instance  of  the  Legate,  but  it  was  a 
turbulent  household  to  control,  and  in  1274 
the  ex-Prior  Andrew  returned  from  Rome, 
and  relying  on  support  from  his  partisans 
within  the  convent  and  from  the  citizens 
outside,  made  an  attempt  to  force  his  way 
into  the  Priory.  The  Bishop  was  on  his 
guard  however,  and  had  posted  his  servants 
to  bar  the  gates  and  prevent  access  to  the 
Cathedral  and  the  neighbouring  buildings. 
Finding  his  men  hard-pressed  he  sent  out 
Preaching  friars  to  ask  for  a  day's  truce, 
and  gathered  meantime  retainers  from  all 
sides  in  sufficient  numbers  to  repel  any 
attack.  After  the  assailants  had  withdrawn 
he  excommunicated  them  and  their  abettors, 
and  laid  the  town  under  an  interdict  for  a 
whole  week.  So  serious  was  the  party 
spirit  roused  among  the  citizens  that  by 
order  of  the  King's  Council  an  inquiry  was 
set  on  foot  by  the  justices  itinerant ;  many 
disturbers  of  the  peace  were  lodged  in 
ward,  and  among  them  even  an  Archdeacon 
of  Rochester,  while  others  took  to  flight. 
To  help  probably  to  calm  the  troubled 
spirits  and  to  strengthen  the  Bishop's 
hands,  Archbishop  Kilwardby  came  in 
November  of  the  same  year  to  Winchester 
where  he  was  received  with  all  due  honour 
by  the  clergy  and  people,  and  soon  after- 
wards held  a  visitation  in  the  Priory,  taking 
the  other  monasteries  in  succession. 


Notwithstanding  the  efforts  of  high 
dignitaries  the  discords  at  St.  Swithun's 
waxed  rather  than  waned  ;  nearly  all  the 
brethren,  it  is  said,  were  on  the  side  of  the 
arch-intriguer,  Andrew,  and  in  1276,  the 
prior,  in  despair  of  his  relations  with  the 
mutineers,  resigned  his  post.  The  Bishop 
promptly  took  possession  of  the  manors  of 
the  convent,  removed  the  obedientiaries, 
and  appointed  a  new  sub-prior.  The  king, 
who  had  just  before  restored  quiet  in  the 
town  by  a  peremptory  order  that  they  must 
keep  the  peace  or  forfeit  civic  privileges, 
now  sent  commissioners,  by  whose  advice 
the  Bishop  reinstated  Valentine  as  prior, 
deposing  him  soon  afterwards  however, 
and  putting  a  Norman,  John  de  Dureville, 
in  his  room. 

The  change  brought  no  improvement, 
and  now  in  their  turn  two  friendly  abbots 
of  the  Order,  from  Reading  and  Glaston- 
bury,  interposed  with  soothing  words  to 
stay  the  strife.  At  this  entreaty  "  the 
Bishop  laid  aside  all  rancorous  feeling 
towards  the  brotherhood,  and  gave  them 
all  the  kiss  of  peace,  save  to  those  who 
were  then  moving  the  powers  in  Rome 
against  him"  (Ann.  Wav.}  But  the 
pleading  of  the  abbots  must  have  failed,  as 
the  royal  commission  had  before,  for  next 
year,  with  the  consent  of  all  concerned,  the 
king  took  the  priory  into  his  own  hands, 
appointing  a  guardian  to  rule  it.  The 
provisional  arrangement  lasted  only  for  a 
year,  after  which  the  Bishop  resumed  the 
entire  control,  and  nominated  whom  he 
pleased  to  office. 

It  is  not  an  edifying  picture  of  the 
cloistered  life,  but  the  monks  of  St. 
Swithun's  were  not  more  quarrelsome  than 
others ;  like  scenes  were  frequently  re- 
curring, and  the  bishops  who  tried  to  do 
their  duty  and  keep  order  in  the  convents 
had  work  enough  upon  their  hands  either 
as  visitors  or  abbots. 

Of  what  Bishop  Nicholas  did  outside  St. 
Swithun's  the  chroniclers  say  little.  We 
know  that  he  took  part  in  various  solemn 
functions,  in  putting  the  pallium  on  Arch- 
bishop Kilwardby  in  1273  and  consecrating 
other  prelates.  As  a  high  dignitary  of  the 

State  he  joined  with  other  magnates  in 
writing  to  Edward  to  announce  his  acces- 
sion to  the  throne  and  went  to  Paris  to 
meet  him  on  his  way  home  in  1273.  When 
in  1276  the  King  paid  his  first  visit  to 
Winchester  after  his  return,  he  came  down 
the  next  day  with  Queen  Eleanor  from  the 
Castle  to  St.  Swithun's  and  was  conducted 
by  the  Bishop  and  the  monks  in  stately 
procession  in  the  Cathedral,  where  they 
remained  awhile  for  prayer. 

He  was  magnificent  in  entertainments, 
for  several  banquets  which  he  gave  are 
specially  described,  and  it  is  noted  that 
when  he  dined  in  state  at  Waverley  with 
his  chief  clergy  in  1274  he  did  so  at  his 
own  expense,  and  at  the  dedication  of  the 
church  of  the  same  convent  in  1278  he 
provided  "copiously  and  splendidly"  for 
nine  days  for  all  the  visitors ;  on  the  first 
day  alone  7066  of  both  sexes  were  counted 
at  the  dinner  table.  It  was  a  light  thing 
after  this  to  send  vension  from  Farnham 
for  the  enthronement  banquet  of  Arch- 
bishop Peckham,  who  had  found  a  visit  to 
the  Court  of  Rome  a  very  costly  pleasure, 
and  had  to  send  all  round  to  his  brother 
prelates  to  beg  them  to  provide  him  with 
good  cheer. 

-The  Bishop  died  in  1280,  leaving  pleasant 
memories  behind  him,  we  are  told,  at  least 
at  Waverley,  where  he  was  buried  in  the 
Church  which  he  had  consecrated  a  short 
time  before,  but  his  heart  was  taken  to 
Winchester,  to  be  laid  in  the  Cathedral. 
The  small  leaden  case  which  contained  it 
was  placed  by  Bishop  Fox  in  the  wall  of 
the  third  bay  on  the  South  side  of  the  Choir 
Screen,  when  he  re-arranged  the  remains 
of  the  distinguished  men  who  had  been 
buried  in  the  Church,  and  there  it  was 
seen  in  1887. 

He  bequeathed  to  the  convent  a  legacy 
of  one  hundred  marks,  and  his  executors 
also  handed  over  to  the  monks  an  annotated 
Bible  which  had  belonged  to  him.  This  had 
been  lately  lent  to  Archbishop  Peckham, 
and  was  borrowed  afterwards  by  Bishop 
John  de  Pontoise,  to  be  kept  for  his  use 
"  as  long  as  it  might  please  him." 


[1CV  I  V5    COKPV5  EST  AP\/n  WA\/A 


The  Enshrined  Heart  of  Bishop  Nicholas  of  Ely. 



In  memory  of  earlier  relations  the  Bishop 
left  thirty  marks  and  a  Bible  to  the  Priory 
of  Worcester,  and  his  executors  were  re- 
quired to  contribute  to  the  expense  of 
building  a  church  for  the  Franciscan  friars 
at  Southampton,  towards  which,  shortly 
before  his  death,  he  had  promised  to  give 

The  above  illustration  has  been  worked 
from  a  sketch  which  was  made  when  the 
vase  containing  the  heart  of  Bishop  Nicholas 
was  uncovered  during  alterations,  June 
23rd,  1887,  and  seen  as  Bishop  Fox  had 

placed  it.  Over  the  cavity,  which  is  in  a 
single  block  of  stone  and  about  nine 
inches  deep,  was  a  plate  of  lead  bearing 
the  inscription :  "  Hie  humatum  est  cor 
Nicholai  Hely  qui  obiit  anno  MCCLXXix. 
Pridie  Idus  Februari,"  the  lettering  being 
much  older  than  that  on  the  screen.  The 
vase  was  not  touched,  but  was  apparently 
of  lead,  wrapped  round  with  a  silk  or 
damask  napkin,  fringed  and  sewn  round 
the  upper  part,  and  of  a  very  dark  brown 
colour.  The  inspection  was  made  in  the 
presence  of  the  Dean  and  several  of  the 
Cathedral  clergy,  and  the  covering  plate 
and  slab  were  reverently  replaced. — ED. 


John  de  Pontoise,  1282—1304. 
Soon  after  the  death  of  Nicholas  of  Ely 
the  monks  assembled  in  the  Chapter  House 
together  with  the  two  archdeacons,  who  by 
established  usage  took  part  in  the  election, 
and  chose  the  Chancellor,  Robert  Burnell, 
then  Bishop  of  Bath  and  Wells,  who  had 
been  pressed  upon  them  by  King  Edward. 
It  was  a  name,  however,  much  in  ill-odour 
at  the  Court  of  Rome,  and  the  envoys  sent 
to  "postulate"  for  him  found  their  eloquence 
quite  unavailing  in  the  presence  of  Pope 
Nicholas  III.  They  were  roughly  told 
that  the  convent  had  been  rash  and  dis- 
respectful in  asking  for  a  bishop  of  whom 
the  Holy  See  had  already  shown  its  dis- 
approval, but  by  special  grace  the  Chapter 
might  make  a  second  choice.  It  did  so 
in  November,  1280,  when  a  committee 
of  seven  electors  agreed  upon  the  name 
of  Richard  de  la  More,  Archdeacon  of 
Winchester,  "  pre-eminent  in  learning " 
(Oseney  Ann.),  who  was  seated  there  among 
them.  Archbishop  Peckham,  a  purist  in 
church  discipline,  withheld  his  consent  on 
the  ground  that  the  Archdeacon  held  two 
benefices  with  cure  of  souls,  contrary  to  the 
enactment  of  the  Council  of  Lyons  (1271). 
Weary  of  delay  the  bishop-elect  appealed 
to  Rome  in  person.  The  cause  at  length 
was  duly  heard  before  a  new  Pope,  Martin 
IV,  but  as  irregularities  had  been  committed 
de  la  More  was  induced  to  give  up  his 
appeal,  perhaps  in  the  hope  that  the  Pope 
would  himself  appoint  him.  When  asked 
privately  what  sum  he  was  prepared  to  give 
for  such  a  grace,  "  like  a  man  of  strict  con- 
science, fearing  the  stain  of  simony,  he 
answered  'not  a  penny.'"  The  scandalized 
go-betweens  told  the  cardinals  what  he  had 
said,  and  on  the  morrow  Pope  and  cardinals 
held  a  hasty  meeting,  ignored  the  wishes  of 
the  convent, and  appointed  John  de  Pontoise 
who  was  at  the  time  detained  by  business 
at  Rome,  and  had  him  consecrated  at 
Civita  Vecchia  by  the  Bishops  of  Ostia  and 
Velitrae,  in  June,  1282.  No  one  indeed 
but  Peckham  cared  much  about  the  abuses 
of  pluralities,  for  de  la  More  procured  a 
dispensation  shortly  afterwards,  and  John 
de  Pontoise  had  himself  in  1276  by  Papal 

grace  held  together  several  benefices  with 
cure  of  souls,  besides  a  canonry  and  arch- 
deaconry at  Exeter,  as  also  the  rectory  of 
Tawstock.  He  was  also  a  Papal  chaplain, 
professor  of  civil  law  at  Modena,  and  had 
been  Chancellor  of  Oxford  in  1280,  and  the 
Pope,  in  a  letter  to  King  Edward,  described 
him  as  "a  man  of  eminent  learning  whose 
character  and  conduct  were  in  high  esteem 
at  the  Apostolic  See."  He  seems  to  have 
been  an  Englishman  by  birth,  though  his 
family  came  from  Pontoise,  and  his  name 
is  variously  given  as  Pountes,  Pontissara, 
and  Fanteise,  and  even  absurdly  as  Saw- 
bridge,  though  the  practice  of  translating 
names  from  the  vernacular  into  Latin 
belongs  to  a  later  date. 

Edward,  though  displeased  at  the  result, 
was  induced  by  letters  from  Pope  and 
cardinals  to  restore  the  temporalities  to  the 
new  Bishop  on  condition  that  he  bought 
the  corn  and  stock  on  the  manors  at  their 
full  price.  Resentful  feeling  lingered  on 
however,  and  action  taken  by  the  Bishop 
with  regard  to  the  church  of  Crondall  in 
disregard  of  the  King's  nominee  caused  an 
outburst  of  wrath  the  next  year,  which  was 
serious  enough  to  call  for  the  intercession 
of  Peckham,  who  wrote  to  both  King  and 
Queen  deprecating  the  harsh  measures 
taken  against  "  a  good  man,  wise  and  loyal," 
and  reminding  them  that  enmity  to  the 
Bishop  would  be  regarded  by  the  Court  of 
Rome  as  directed  against  itself.  Peckham 
took  much  interest  in  his  behalf,  as  he  had 
often  written  to  him  as  his  proctor  in  Rome 
in  1279,  and  again  in  1282. 

With  little  favour  at  Court,  and  no  secular 
duties  to  distract  his  thoughts,  the  Bishop 
could  give  his  time  mainly  to  the  interests 
of  his  See,  and  to  friendly  relations  with 
St.  Swithun's,  where  there  had  been  so 
much  trouble  in  the  past.  There  were  still 
elements  of  disorder  to  be  found  there. 
During  the  vacancy  of  the  See  the  Prior 
had  refused  to  recognise  the  authority  of 
the  Archbishop,  and  had  yielded  only  after 
sentence  of  excommunication.  Peckham 
formally  visited  it  early  in  1284,  and  wrote 
to  the  Bishop  to  tell  him  of  the  measures 
he  had  taken  against  Valentine,  who  had 


been  expelled  by  Nicholas  of  Ely,  and 
Andrew  who  for  "notable  misdemeanours" 
had  been  degraded  from  his  office  of  prior, 
both  of  whom  were  contumacious  offenders 
still.  The  Bishop,  however,  was  minded  to 
do  more  than  maintain  discipline  by  formal 
censures.  He  was  anxious  to  settle  matters 
in  dispute  which  had  caused  much  heart 
burning  in  the  past  respecting  conflicting 
claims  to  the  estates  and  the  status  of  the 
conventual  officials.  It  was  decided  amic- 
ably after  conference  before  the  King,  that 
the  obedientiaries  should  be  freely  elected 
by  the  monks,  and  that  the  prior,  once 
appointed  by  the  Bishop,  should  not  be 
subject  to  removal  by  him  ;  on  a  prior's 
death  the  chapter  should  hold  possession 
of  the  estates  during  the  vacancy  ;  and  all 
the  lands  and  advowsons  which  it  claimed 
as  of  old  right  should  be  secured  to  it 
except  the  manors  of  Gosport,  Alverstoke, 
and  Droxford,  which  the  convent  now 
consented  to  hand  over  wholly  to  the 
Bishop.  The  agreement  was  signed  and 
sealed  at  Winchester  in  July,  1284. 

During  this  period  both  Pope  and  King 
laid  heavy  hands  on  ecclesiastical  posses- 
sions for  the  defence  of  the  Holy  Land  and 
objects  nearer  home,  and  the  Bishop  was 
involved  in  some  unpopularity  on  that 
account,  for  he  was  commissioned  by  Pope 
Nicholas  IV,  together  with  the  Bishop  of 
Lincoln,  to  draw  up  a  new  system  of 
assessment  of  church  property  in  accordance 
with  detailed  instructions  sent  to  them. 
Financial  agents  travelled  through  the 
country  to  take  the  evidence  of  the  clergy, 
but  notwithstanding  that  it  was  given  on 
oath,  they  were  taxed  often  on  amounts 
two  or  three  times  as  large  as  their  own 
valuation.  There  were  naturally  loud 
complaints  of  the  "  most  oppressive  taxatio 
Nicholai"  in  which  the  fiscal  agents  were 
not  spared.  The  Bishop  had  been  charged 
himself  with  ^2000  for  the  expenses  of  the 
crown  a  few  years  before,  and  in  1294  an 
entry  in  the  Patent  Rolls  shews  that  he 
paid  one  half  of  his  income  for  the  year, 
rated,  of  course,  upon  the  new  assessment. 

After  this  time  he  was  frequently  away 
from  England,  and  there  are  repeated 

notices  in  the  rolls  of  the  formal  leave  of 
absence  which  was  granted  to  him,  and  of 
attorneys  appointed  to  look  after  his  in- 
terests at  home.  Before  he  went,  however, 
he  interposed  as  arbitrator  (amicabilis 
ordinator)  in  a  dispute  which  had  dragged 
on  fifteen  years  between  the  convent  of 
Waverley  and  the  Archdeacon  of  Surrey 
on  the  subject  of  some  small  tithes,  and 
had  been  referred  on  appeal  to  a  variety 
of  commissions  appointed  by  the  Pope. 
Thankful  tribute  to  his  good  offices  is 
recorded  in  the  annals  of  the  house. 

The  Pope  had  need  of  him  at  Rome  in 
1295,  and  sent  a  letter  in  July  to  request 
that  the  King  would  let  him  come  in  the 
interests  of  the  Church.  There  are  many 
notices  in  other  Papal  letters  which  illus- 
trate the  value  set  upon  his  services  at 
Rome.  Requests  were  made  repeatedly 
in  his  behalf  that  Philip  of  France  would 
restore  property  belonging  to  the  Bishop 
which  he  had  seized,  taking  some  of  it 
even  from  the  religious  houses  in  which  it 
had  been  stored  for  safety.  His  diocese 
was  exempted  in  1298  from  the  jurisdiction 
of  the  metropolitan,  and  placed  imme- 
diately under  the  Apostolic  See,  provision 
was  made  for  his  secular  clerks  in  London 
and  elsewhere,  and  a  large  sum  awarded 
him  for  his  labour  and  expenses  in  collecting 
the  Holy  Land  Tenth,  which  had  been 
granted  for  six  years  to  the  King. 

At  the  end  of  1295,  Edward,  whose 
confidence  he  must  have  gained  meantime, 
sent  him  to  arrange  the  terms  of  truce  with 
France.  The  negotiations  were  protracted, 
for  he  seems  to  have  been  abroad  on  the 
King's  service,  till  the  beginning  of  1298. 
He  was  probably  not  sorry  to  be  far  away 
during  the  critical  time  of  1297,  when 
Archbishop  Winchelsey  braved  the  dis- 
pleasure of  the  King  in  obedience  to  the 
famous  Bull  of  Boniface  VIII,  which 
forbade  any  grants  in  aid  to  the  Crown 
from  the  property  of  the  Church. 

Early  in  1300  Edward  wrote  to  the  Pope 
to  the  effect  that  he  was  sending  the 
Bishop  of  Winchester  to  France  as  his 
"proctor  and  special  envoy,  to  hear  and 


confirm  the  Papal  arrangements  for  peace 
between  England  and  France,"  and  pro- 
tection was  granted  him  for  two  years' 
absence.  Again  in  March,  1303,  he  "went 
beyond  the  seas  on  the  King's  service," 
and  took  with  him  the  Archdeacons  of 
Winchester  and  Surrey,  and  the  Warden  of 
St.  Cross,  powers  being  given  to  them  and 
others  to  make  a  treaty  with  Philip  of 
France,  and  a  license  for  two  years'  absence 
was  conferred. 

We  next  hear  of  him  in  a  letter  written 
by  King  Edward,  1st  May,  1304,  in  which 
he  begs  the  Pope  to  further  the  interests  of 
his  "beloved  and  loyal"  Bishop  who  is 
visiting  Rome  on  business  connected  with 
his  See.  He  speaks  in  the  highest  terms 
of  the  profound  wisdom  and  prudence 
which  had  long  been  devoted  to  secure  the 
peace  and  welfare  of  the  realm.  What  the 
business  was  and  how  he  fared  in  it  we  are 
not  told,  and  he  died  at  Wolvesey  in  the 
following  December. 

A  few  years  before  his  death  he  had 
founded  St.  Elizabeth's  College,  in  honour 
of  the  Hungarian  Saint,  in  a  meadow 
opposite  the  gate  of  Wolvesey,  for  a  provost 
with  six  chaplains  and  six  clerks,  who, 
besides  their  meat  and  drink  of  a  very 
meagre  diet,  were  to  receive  salaries  varying 
from  six  marks  to  twenty  shillings  yearly. 
It  was  not  intended,  as  has  been  said,  "to 
promote  the  interests  of  learning  among 
his  clergy,"  but  to  provide  a  fixed  and 
ample  round  of  prayers  for  the  living  and 
the  dead.  Another  chapel  called  St. 
Stephen's  in  the  same  mead  seems  to  have 
been  also  founded  by  him. 

In  his  earlier  years  of  office,  when  his 
relations  with  the  court  were  strained,  the 
Bishop's  rights  were  somewhat  roughly 
questioned  by  the  agents  of  the  Crown. 
He  had  to  defend  a  suit  respecting  his 
claim  to  the  advowson  of  God's  House,  or 
the  Hospital  of  St.  Julian  in  Southampton, 
which  he  finally  surrendered  to  the  Crown, 
though  it  had  been  adjudged  to  him  when 

disputed  by  the  Corporation  of  Southamp- 
ton, and  the  Sheriff  William  of  Brem- 
beleschete  (Bramshott)  had  enforced  the 
sentence.  He  was  accused  on  frivolous 
grounds  of  breach  of  the  Forest  Laws,  and 
the  Warder  of  Porchester  Castle  hunted  in 
his  parks  while  he  was  away  from  England. 
It  was  more  serious  when  the  privileges  of 
St.  Giles'  fair  were  declared  to  have  been 
orfeited  because  it  had  been  kept  open 
longer  than  the  term  allowed  by  Charter. 
By  special  grace  however  the  King  renewed 
the  grant. 

He  shewed  favour  to  religious  houses  in 
a  much  more  questionable  form  than  the 
endowments  of  preceding  bishops  when  he 
helped  them  to  secure  for  their  own  uses 
the  rectorial  titles  of  parishes  of  which  they 
had  advowsons.  Thus  he  procured  the 
assent  of  Pope  and  King  to  the  impropria- 
tion  of  Wotton  to  St.  Swithun's,  of  Michel- 
dever  to  Hyde  Abbey,  and  Great  Worldham 
to  Selborne  Priory.  In  all  the  cases  the 
same  reason  is  assigned  of  provision  for  the 
poor  and  hospitality  to  the  wayfarers, 
though  it  is  hard  to  credit  the  "  multitude  of 
poor  and  infirm  who  flocked"  to  Selborne. 
For  St.  Swithun's  more  is  said  of  the 
expense  of  litigation  and  mismanagement 
from  frequent  changes  of  the  priors,  and 
the  maintenance  and  enlargement  of  the 
Cathedral  fabric,  for  which  the  bishops 
gave  a  special  grant  from  the  proceeds  of 
the  fair.  The  convent  in  its  gratitude 
bound  itself  to  have  a  Mass  of  the  Holy 
Spirit  sung  daily  for  the  Bishop  while  he 
lived,  and  a  Mass  for  the  dead  after  his 
decease,  as  also  a  solemn  Mass  with  the 
trumpet  on  his  obit-day.  To  his  own 
foundation  of  St.  Elizabeth's  College  he 
transferred  the  tithes  of  Hursley,  subject 
only  to  provision  for  a  vicar. 

His  tomb  was  made  on  the  north  side  of 
the  choir,  with  the  brief  inscription  on  the 
monumental  tablet  : — 

Defuncti  corpus  tumulus  tenet  iste  Joannis 
Fountes  Wintonias  Praesulis  eximii. 



Henry  Woodlock,  1306—1316. 

In  Henry  Woodlock  we  have  the  single 
case  of  a  prior  of  St.  Swithun's  raised  to 
the  bishop's  throne.  Kings  commonly 
dictated,  or  Popes  provided,  with  scant 
regard  for  the  wishes  of  the  nominal 
electors,  who  seldom  ventured  to  raise  their 
voices  in  behalf  of  the  man  whom  they 
knew  best,  nor  are  we  told  how  it  was  that 
they  could  act  freely  in  this  case. 

Nothing  is  known  of  Woodlock's  earlier 
life  save  that  he  was  Prior  from  1295  to 
1305,  and  that  he  was  called  also  de  Mere- 
welle  from  an  episcopal  manor  from  which 
he  came.  Here  Henry  of  Blois  had 
founded  a  college  for  four  priests,  which 
had  been  enlarged  by  Peter  des  Roches, 
and  here  Woodlock  himself  resided 
occasionally  in  later  life. 

After  the  death  of  John  de  Pontoise  the 
vacancy  was  soon  filled  up,  and  the  tempor- 
alities were  restored  on  March  I2th,  1305  ; 
but  before  long  the  Bishop  incurred  the 
grave  displeasure  of  the  King  by  inter- 
ceding for  Winchelsey,  the  disgraced 
Primate,  and  calling  him  his  lord,  while 
under  the  ban  of  Papacy  and  Crown. 
It  is  said  that  he  was  outlawed  in  con- 
sequence, and  his  effects  seized,  but 
Edward's  death  soon  afterwards  brought 
a  speedy  change.  Winchelsey  was  restored 
to  place  and  favour,  but  being  unable  to 
return  at  once  to  England  he  delegated  to 
the  Bishop  of  Winchester  the  chief  part  in 
the  Coronation  of  Edward  II,  which  took 
place  before  the  high  altar  of  St.  Peter's, 

It  illustrates  the  proud  spirit  of  independ- 
ence in  the  greater  monasteries  at  this  time 
that  the  Bishop  found  it  needful  to  give 
assurance  by  letters  under  his  seal  to  the 
Abbot  and  monks  of  Westminster  that  the 
ceremony  in  their  church  should  not  be 
regarded  as  any  token  of  authority  on  his 
part,  or  as  affecting  in  any  way  their  rights 
and  privileges. 

This  was  not  followed  by  any  prominent 
action  of  the  Bishop  in  the  affairs  of  State, 
if  we  except  the  exercise  of  the  powers 
entrusted  in  1310  to  certain  peers,  lay  and 

clerical,  to  elect  Ordainers.  We  find  ample 
mention  of  episcopal  statesmen  in  con- 
temporary records,  and  we  can  trace  in 
official  documents  the  appointments  of  the 
financiers  and  judges  who  were  promoted 
by  the  Crown  to  high  places  in  the  Church, 
but  from  such  sources  we  learn  hardly 
anything  of  Woodlock,  beyond  a  bare 
notice  of  the  leave  of  absence  granted  for 
a  year  in  1311  that  he  might  attend  a 
general  Council  at  Vienne,  and  an  entry  of 
the  daily  pension  of  fourpence  for  each  of 
the  four  Templars  assigned  to  him  for 
custody  when  the  Order  was  suppressed  by 
Clement  at  the  Council.  These  sufferers 
from  the  unholy  compact  between  a  French 
tyrant  and  an  unscrupulous  Pope  were 
distributed  among  religious  houses,  with 
adequate  allowance  for  their  maintenance, 
for  the  Bishop's  prisoners  at  Wolvesey  cost 
him  only  a  farthing  a  day. 

Disinclined  or  unfitted  by  the  habits  of 
his  cloistered  life  to  take  an  active  part  in 
the  politics  of  a  troubled  age,  he  had  more 
time  to  give  to  the  administration  of  his 
diocese,  and  to  matters  which  went  beyond 
the  legal  formalities  of  his  official  principal, 
or  the  powers  delegated  to  Bishops  in 
parlibus,  on  whom  his  predecessors  often 
had  relied  during  long  periods  of  absence 
from  their  Sees.  His  Constitutions,  a  sort 
of  lengthy  pastoral  containing  detailed 
instructions  to  the  clergy  —  such  as  his 
predecessors  found  little  leisure  to  formulate 
— indicate  a  liberal  and  judicious  spirit. 
At  a  time  when  monks  were  often  jealous 
of  the  rival  pretensions  of  the  friars,  and 
parish  priests  bitterly  resented  the  intrusion 
of  their  preachers,  he  is  urgent  in  advising 
that  the  travelling  friars  should  be  made 
welcome  and  hospitably  treated,  and  allowed 
to  shrive  the  penitent,  but  insists  that  the 
sanction  of  incumbents  shall  be  first 

The  religious  houses  at  this  period  were 
claiming  tithes  and  pensions  in  a  multitude 
of  parishes,  but  the  Bishop,  monk  though 
he  was,  would  have  inquiry  made  in  every 
case,  and  the  title  proved,  and  meanwhile 
would  strictly  guard  the  interests  involved. 



St.  Swithun's  had  dealt  roughly  with  the 
Vicar  of  Wootton,  the  great  tithes  of  which 
had  been  inpropriated  for  their  use,  and  the 
Bishop  writes  to  the  brethren  of  whom  he 
had  been  Prior  to  recall  them  to  a  sense  of 
duty;  "again  and  again  has  Richard, Vicar 
of  Wootton,  complained  that  your  bailiffs 
dwelling  there  unjustly  detain  and  refuse  to 
hand  over  to  him  the  portion  of  tithes 
assigned  to  him  by  reason  of  his  vicarage 
out  of  your  demesnes,  and  that  as  often  as 
he  demands  it  they  scoff  at  him  to  the 
great  prejudice  of  the  said  Vicar  and  his 
vicarage.  Wherefore  we  enjoin  you  to  be 
so  good  as  to  command  your  aforesaid 
bailiffs  to  pay  and  give  up  without  delay  to 
the  said  Vicar  the  portion  of  tithes  and  all 
other  things  due  to  him  as  Vicar  from  your 
demesnes  aforesaid :  acting  in  the  matter 
so  that  the  Vicar  may  have  no  occasion  to 
return  to  us  again  for  the  aforesaid  reason, 
and  that  we  may  be  under  no  necessity  of 
giving  him  a  helping  hand  by  reason  of 
your  shortcoming." 

He  dwells  at  length  on  the  oppressive 
dealings  of  archdeacons,  rural  deans,  and 
their  officials,  and  peremptorily  forbids  the 
exaction  often  made,  familiarly  known  under 
the  name  of  the  "Archdeacon's  pig,"  a 
charge  of  twelve  pence  yearly  from  each 
church  in  the  Archdeaconry. 

Familiar  doubtless  with  the  traditions  of 
disorder  and  misrule  in  his  own  convent 
fifty  years  before,  he  knew  how  often 
vigilant  care  and  a  firm  hand  were  needed 
to  restore  peace  among  the  inmates  of  the 
cloister.  Earlier  bishops,  much  occupied 
by  affairs  of  state  at  a  distance  from  their 
Sees,  could  rarely  deal  patiently  with 
conventual  troubles,  but  the  visitation 
decrees  addressed  by  Woodlock  to  the 
religious  houses  of  his  diocese  shew  that 
his  oversight  was  real  and  watchful.  The 
bishops  still  had  large  powers  of  control. 
The  greater  houses  indeed  had  drawn 
themselves  away  and  enjoyed  an  independ- 
ence secured  by  papal  grant,  but  in  the  less 
important  monasteries  episcopal  authority 
was  complete.  The  evil  was  that  it  was 
exercised  too  fitfully  and  weakly,  till  the 
constitutional  ailments  became  inveterate 

and  fatal.  Difficulties  began  often  in  a 
shrinking  income,  for  gifts  of  large  endow- 
ments were  wholly  of  the  past,  and  it  was 
often  hard  to  keep  their  creditors  at  bay, 
and  to  repair  their  ruinous  homes.  Thus 
Hyde  Abbey,  once  the  close  neighbour  and 
rival  of  St.  Swithun's,  was  in  such  a  sorry 
plight  with  some  of  its  buildings  still  in 
ruins  and  the  estates  insufficient  for  their 
restoration  that  the  Bishop  issued  in  131?  a 
letter  to  recommend  its  claims  to  charitable 
help,  and  directed  that  collections  should 
be  made  in  its  behalf  in  all  the  churches  of 
the  diocese. 

Often  the  ruler  was  incompetent  or  selfish, 
the  brethren  disorderly  and  factious,  and 
then  a  change  of  Head  was  needful,  and 
drastic  measures  were  decreed.  The  nun- 
nery of  Wintney$  for  example,  had  suffered 
from  the  misrule  of  its  Abbess,  and  was 
visited  by  the  Bishop  in  1308,  and  again  in 
1315,  after  which  injuctions  and  decrees 
were  sent  by  him.  The  Archbishop  shortly 
afterwards  complained  that  the  nuns,  left 
without  the  necessaries  of  life,  had  been 
forced  to  leave  their  cloister,  and  find 
shelter  where  they  could.  A  commission 
was  issued  immediately  with  full  powers  to 
deal  with  the  abuses. 

At  Hyde  Abbey,  not  much  later,  the 
monks  were  disorderly  and  dissolute,  and 
the  Abbot  was  sharply  censured  because 
his  spiritual  children  made  themselves  vile, 
and  he,  like  Eli  of  old,  restrained  them  not. 

It  is  unnecessary  to  give  further  illustra- 
tions. With  change  of  names  and  local 
colour  the  descriptions  of  conventual  dis- 
orders are  much  the  same  in  different  parts 
of  England  ;  they  illustrate  too  clearly  the 
waning  enthusiasm  of  monastic  life,  and 
the  degradation  of  a  high  ideal. 

The  Bishop  does  not  appear  to  have 
discouraged  pluralities,  at  any  rate  in  his 
own  family,  for  in  1312  a  Papal  dispensation 
was  procured,  at  the  King's  request,  for 
"  Richard  de  Wodelok,  nephew  of  Henry 
of  Winchester  to  accept  one  or  more 
benefices  to  the  value  of  ^100,"  he  being 
already  rector  of  three  parishes,  with  pre- 
ferment at  Itchen  Abbas. 



He  died  at  Farnham  Castle  on  the  i8th 
of  June,  1316,  but  his  body  was  taken  to 
Winchester,  and  buried  at  the  entrance  of 
the  Choir.  Besides  the  thirty  marks  a  year 
granted  by  him,  as  by  earlier  bishops,  from 

the  tolls  of  St.  Giles'  Fair,  for  the  repairs 
of  the  Cathedral,  he  had  bestowed  various 
ornaments  upon  it,  and  also  enriched  the 
church  of  Merewelle  where  his  early  years 
were  spent. 



John  de  Sandale. 

As  soon  as  the  two  monks  of  St.  Swithun's, 
who  in  accordance  with  the  usual  custom 
were  sent  to  announce  the  death  of  Bishop 
Henry  of  Winchester,  had  arrived  at  Wind- 
sor, and  obtained  the  requisite  license  to 
elect  a  successor,  the  King  wrote  to  the 
Chapter,  desiring  that  his  Chancellor  might 
be  promoted  to  the  vacant  post.  Letters 
to  the  same  effect  were  written  by  the 
Queen  and  several  of  the  nobles.  Aymer 
de  Valence,  Earl  of  Pembroke,  the  King's 
cousin,  was  also  urged  repeatedly  to  go 
without  delay  to  Winchester,  and  use  such 
influence  as  he  could  to  further  the  same 
end.  Accordingly  on  the  2;th  of  July,  1316, 
after  Mass  in  the  Cathedral,  the  Chapter 
formally  elected  John  de  Sandale,  who  had 
filled  for  many  years  a  prominent  place  in 
the  service  of  the  crown. 

Born  probably  near  Doncaster,  in  one  of 
the  manors  of  Wheatley,  of  which  Sandale 
was  a  member,  he  is  first  heard  of  as  a  clerk 
in  the  King's  Wardrobe  in  1294,  then  as 
Keeper  of  the  Royal  Mints,  and  in  1305  as 
Chamberlain  of  Scotland,  being  employed 
meanwhile  in  a  variety  of  financial  charges 
in  Gascony  and  elsewhere.  After  the  ac- 
cession of  Edward  1 1  he  became  Chancellor 
of  the  Exchequer,  and  was  Treasurer  in 
1310.  The  latter  office  he  resigned  when 
he  received  the  Great  Seal  as  Chancellor 
in  1314. 

In  return  for  the  arduous  work  involved 
in  these  secular  offices  of  high  import- 
ance, many  ecclesiastical  appointments 
were  conferred  upon  him,  their  emoluments 
being  regarded  as  part  of  his  official  pay. 
By  traditional  usage  the  servants  of  the 
crown  could  claim  to  dispense  with  resi- 
dence and  delegate  their  spiritual  duties, 
and  neither  John  de  Sandale  nor  his  master 
had  any  scruples  in  this  respect.  But 
pluralities  on  such  a  scale  required  special 
treatment,  and  as  the  conditions  are  de- 
scribed for  us  in  unusual  detail,  it  is  of 
interest  to  note  the  various  stages. 

As  early  as  1305  application  was  made 
to  Pope  Clement  V  to  allow  him  to  retain 
a  number  of  benefices  which  he  held  without 
proceeding  to  higher  orders  than  the  sub- 
diaconate,  notwithstanding  adverse  decrees 

of  the  Council  of  Lyons.  The  reply  was 
favourable,  and  the  indulgence  granted. 
But  the  license  only  covered  the  irregulari- 
ties of  the  past,  and  when  more  benefices 
were  conferred  or  promised  it  was  needful 
to  take  further  steps  from  time  to  time.  A 
letter  was  written  in  the  King's  name,  de- 
scribing the  exceeding  merits  of  John  de 
Sandale,  and  the  charms  of  his  personal 
character,  and  begging  the  Pope  to  give  a 
favourable  hearing  to  the  pleas  that  would 
be  urged  by  the  special  messenger  des- 
patched. Cardinals  at  Rome — in  one  case 
as  many  as  fourteen — received  also  royal 
letters  on  the  subject,  and  the  agent 
probably  had  something  weightier  than 
verbal  arguments  to  offer  to  them.  In  due 
course  the  answer  from  the  Papal  court 
arrived.  With  stately  condescension  the 
Pope  "benignly  favours  those  who,  walking 
in  the  paths  of  virtue,  devote  themselves  to 
the  service  of  exalted  personages."  The 
irregularities  were  lengthily  recounted  and 
condoned,  and  sanction  given  to  more 
benefices  still  to  be  conferred,  amounting 
in  value  to  a  sum  definitely  fixed.  Three 
times  this  process  was  repeated,  the  letters 
growing  longer  as  the  aggregate  amount 
was  larger  ;  in  the  last  rescript  in  1313  the 
pluralist  was  no  longer  a  subdeacon  but  a 
priest,  but  in  no  case  was  residence  to  be 
required,  or  any  duties  save  by  deputy  en- 
forced. In  1315  therefore  he  held,  besides 
the  chancellorship  of  St.  Patrick's,  Dublin, 
and  the  treasurership  of  Lichfield,  eight 
prebendal  stalls  and  ten  rectories,  the  total 
income  of  which  amounted  to  much  more 
than  ten  thousand  pounds  of  present  value. 
On  September  22nd,  1316,  the  election 
was  confirmed,  the  temporalities  were  re- 
stored, and  he  began  at  once  to  exercise 
his  official  powers.  The  "  recognition 
money,"  of  fixed  amount,  payable  by  the 
tenants  of  the  manors  at  the  accession  of 
each  bishop,  was  duly  collected  by  the 
bailiffs.  On  October  3ist  the  ceremonies 
of  consecration  were  performed  at  Canter- 
bury by  Archbishop  Reynolds,  and  imme- 
diately afterwards  the  Bishop  held  two 
Ordinations,  at  Sturry  and  at  Milton,  by 
permission  of  the  Archbishop,  but  to  the 
first  tonsure  only.  On  the  fourth  Sunday 



in  Lent  he  was  enthroned  at  Winchester, 
the  King  coming  from  Clarendon  to  be 
present  in  the  Cathedral  and  in  the  Great 
Hall  of  Wolvesey,  where  a  feast  was  given, 
for  which  elaborate  preparations  had  been 
made,  mandates  being  sent  to  the  officials 
of  the  crown  at  the  Cinque  Ports  and  else- 
where to  assist  in  providing  fish  for  the 
occasion,  as  instructions  had  been  given 
before  to  have  venison  sent  to  the  Bishop 
from  the  royal  forests.  The  accounts  were 
so  minutely  kept  that  we  can  read  about 
what  was  paid  to  carpenters  and  plumbers 
for  petty  repairs  needed  for  the  Hall,  and 
for  iron  hoops  required  to  strengthen  the 
casks  of  wine  and  beer. 

The  services  of  so  able  and  experienced 
a  minister  could  not  easily  be  dispensed 
with,  and  the  Bishop  retained  the  office  of 
Chancellor  for  a  year  and  seven  months 
after  his  consecration,  though  on  several 
occasions  he  found  it  necessary  to  deliver 
the  Great  Seal  to  the  custody  of  various 
officials,  as  when  he  went  on  pilgrimage  to 
Canterbury,  or  left  the  court  at  York  or 
Lincoln  in  order  to  discharge  episcopal 
duties  in  the  south.  Even  when  he  was 
allowed  to  resign  the  Chancellorship,  it 
was  only  to  be  made  Treasurer  once  more, 
and  to  struggle  with  the  financial  embar- 
rassments in  which  the  Crown  was  now 
involved  from  the  expenses  of  the  war  with 
Scotland,  and  the  extravagances  of  the 
royal  household. 

Notwithstanding  the  pressure  of  his 
secular  duties  he  did  not  seek  the  help  of 
other  bishops,  like  so  many  of  the  Ministers 
of  State,  but  conducted  himself  the  cere- 
monies of  his  Ordinations  and  visited  re- 
peatedly many  of  his  manors  and  the 
neighbouring  churches.  In  one  of  these 
visits  to  a  vicar  of  Micheldever,  his  kins- 
man, the  house  of  the  vicarage  was  burnt 
down  during  the  Bishop's  stay  in  it. 

The  royal  letters  to  the  Pope  in  his 
behalf  did  not  cease  entirely,  though  after 
his  promotion  to  Winchester  dispensations 
of  the  same  kind  were  not  needed.  Early 
in  1317,  in  support  of  some  request  made 
at  Rome,  the  King  wrote  to  "  petition  his 
Blessedness  to  vouchsafe  to  the  Bishop — 
a  man  of  the  highest  character,  of  great 

reputation,  distinguished  for  honesty  of  life 
and  conversation,  zealous  in  the  cause  of 
justice,  and  endowed  with  manifold  virtues, 
and  ever  labouring  strenuously  to  maintain 
the  liberties  of  the  Church — so  abundant  a 
measure  of  grace  and  favour  for  the  work 
he  has  in  hand,  that  he  may  be  able  the 
more  profitably  to  exercise  in  the  fear 
of  the  Lord,  the  office  committed  to  his 
trust,  and  render  opportune  assistance  and 
counsel  in  State  affairs."  The  only  indul- 
gence however  of  which  we  have  any  record 
at  this  time  is  the  license  given  on  March 
I7th,  1317,  "conceding  with  loving  favour 
the  means  of  enjoying,  according  to  desire 
expressed,  a  peaceful  conscience,  and  a 
mind  free  from  commotion."  He  had  leave 
to  choose  for  confessor  a  discreet  priest,  to 
hear  his  confession,  and  enjoin  a  salutary 
penance  of  his  offences,  even  if  such  as 
under  ordinary  circumstances  would  require 
the  intervention  of  the  Apostolic  See. 

Another  occasion  of  royal  intercession 
involved  wider  interests,  and  deserves  more 
explanation.  In  1318  Pope  John  XXII 
suddenly  revoked  all  the  dispensations  of 
plurality  which  had  been  granted  by 
Clement  V,  and  demanded  in  each  case 
the  immediate  resignation  of  all  the  bene- 
fices but  one  so  held  with  cure  of  souls. 
Returns  of  the  churches  thus  surrrendered 
were  to  be  made  out  in  every  Diocese  for 
the  Pope's  use.  In  that  of  Winchester 
thirteen  were  accordingly  vacated.  An  in- 
teresting letter  was  addressed  to  the  Pope 
on  May  3Oth  by  nearly  all  the  Bishops  of 
the  Province  of  Canterbury,  describing  in 
strong  terms  the  forlorn  condition  of  the 
many  parishes  so  left  without  a  pastor,  as 
also  of  the  others  to  which  in  earlier  days 
aliens  had  been  preferred,  ignorant  of  the 
language  even  of  their  people,  careless  of 
the  duties  of  hospitality,  and  neglectful  of 
the  ruinous  condition  of  the  rectorial  build- 
ings. They  beg  therefore  to  be  allowed 
themselves  to  present  to  the  benefices 
which  were  left  without  incumbents,  or  to 
draw  up  lists  in  separate  schedules  of  ap- 
proved clerks  whom  the  Pope  might  him- 
self appoint  to  the  vacant  churches.  This 
was  followed  a  few  days  later  by  a  special 
letter  of  Edward  on  the  same  subject  in 


behalf  of  his  Chancellor,  whose  wide  ex- 
perience alike  in  his  secular  and  spiritual 
offices  made  the  patronage  at  his  disposal 
insufficient  to  reward  the  services  of  de- 
serving men. 

A  month  after  his  acceptance  of  the  office 
of  Treasurer  in  1318,  he  retired  to  South- 
wark,  and  remained  there  mainly  till  his 
death  on  November  2nd,  1319,  though  with 
occasional  visits  to  Farnham  and  Wolvesey, 
and  other  places  in  his  Diocese.  He  ap- 
pears to  have  been  in  failing  health  for 
some  time  past,  and  obliged  to  excuse  his 
absence  from  Convocation,  and  to  seek 

The  funeral  took  place  on  Sunday,  the 
nth,  when  the  Mass  of  Requiem  was  sung 
in  the  Church  of  St.  Mary,  Southwark, 
followed  by  a  great  dole  of  alms  to  the 
poor,  and  the  customary  dinner  to  the 
mourners  present  at  the  ceremony.  That 
the  number  of  the  guests  was  a  very  large 
one  may  be  gathered  from  the  entries  of 
the  kitchen  expenses  of  the  day,  of  14 
carcases  of  beef,  78  sheep,  24  pigs  and  22 
calves,  8  swans,  140  geese,  240  fowls,  and 
1300  eggs,  besides  fish  of  various  kinds. 
There  were  also  320  gallons  of  wine  and 
1 143  gallons  of  beer  consumed. 

Of  his  character  and  powers  we  have  no 
other  evidence  than  the  many  offices  of 
state  to  which  he  was  preferred  and  the 
affectionate  language  of  the  King's  letters 
in  his  behalf.  The  former  amply  prove 
the  value  set  upon  his  services  ;  the  latter 
also  speak  of  "  the  modesty  and  gentleness, 
which  won  the  love  of  both  his  superiors 
and  inferiors,  and  earned  for  his  praise- 
worthy administration  the  love  of  one  and 
all."  Though  the  Court  was  unwilling  to 
forego  its  claims  upon  his  services,  he 
seems  to  have  devoted  all  the  attention  that 
was  possible  to  the  cares  of  his  Diocese, 
and  to  have  returned  to  it  as  often  as  he 
could,  to  have  travelled  to  and  fro  among 
his  manors,  the  dilapidations  of  which  were 
valued  at  his  death  at  a  much  lower  figure 
than  for  several  of  his  successors  in  the 
See.  They  were  evil  days  in  which  he 

lived,  in  which  reputations  were  not  spared» 
but  in  his  case  calumny  was  silent. 

He  left  nothing  to  be  disposed  of  in 
charity  at  his  death  beyond  the  funeral 
dole,  but  benefactions  during  his  lifetime 
to  the  Friars  Preachers  and  Franciscans 
are  recorded,  as  also  some  help  in  time  of 
need  to  the  convent  of  Ivinghoe. 

His  tenure  of  the  bishopric  was  too  short 
to  enable  him  to  meet  the  heavy  expenses 
and  claims  of  the  crown  during  the  first 
year,  and  the  day  after  the  King  heard  of 
the  death  of  the  servant  whom  he  had 
praised  so  highly,  writs  were  issued  for  the 
seizure  of  his  effects  to  recover  debts  in- 
curred and  taxes  still  unpaid.  Inquiries 
were  made  even  as  to  the  gold  and  silver 
plate  that  had  belonged  to  him,  which 
members  of  his  family  were  said  to  have 
carried  off  after  his  death.  More  than 
twenty  years  later  the  household  furniture 
of  his  executor  was  seized  in  part  payment 
of  a  heavy  debt  still  due  from  the  Bishop's 

Little  is  told  us  of  his  relations  with  the 
brethren  of  St.  Swithun's.  These  during 
the  vacancy  had  used  defiant  language 
about  the  Archbishop's  Commissaries, 
whose  formal  visit  they  were  unwilling  to 
allow.  Reynolds  did  not,  like  Peckham  in 
like  case,  deal  in  excommunications,  but 
wrote  an  angry  warning  to  the  convent, 
accusing  it  of  encouraging  "  conspiracies 
and  conventicles  "  elsewhere.  One  of  the 
first  acts  of  the  Bishop  had  been  to  procure 
for  the  convent  license  to  hold  in  mortmain 
more  lands  and  rents  to  the  value  of  ,£50 
and  advowsons  to  the  value  of  ,£100,  and 
he  also  confirmed  the  grant  of  30  marks  for 
the  Cathedral  fabric.  He  proposed  at  a 
later  time  to  come  to  them  as  Visitor,  but 
the  stress  of  public  duties  allowed  him  no 
leisure  for  the  purpose. 

For  the  City  of  Winchester  he  procured 
leave  to  levy  a  murage  tax  for  seven  years, 
which  enabled  it  to  expend  on  the  fortifi- 
cations of  the  town  the  produce  of  tolls 
exacted  on  the  wares  and  provisions  brought 
into  their  markets. 



Rigaud  de  Assier,  1320—1323. 

Earlier  Bishops  had  commonly  owed 
their  preferment  to  the  Crown,  which  they 
had  long  served  in  secular  employments, 
but  after  Sandale's  death  the  See  was  the 
reward  of  a  financial  agent  of  the  Papal 
Court.  As  soon  as  the  news  of  the  vacancy 
reached  King  Edward  II,  he  wrote  to  Pope 
John  XXII,  who  was  known  to  have  re- 
served to  himself  the  next  appointment, 
begging  the  post  for  young  Henry  de 
Burghershe,  nephew  of  the  steward  of  his 
household,  who,  thanks  to  royal  favour, 
gained  the  next  year  the  bishoprick  of 
Lincoln.  Meantime  however  Edward  had 
granted  the  congi  d'ttire,  and  had  assented 
to  the  election  of  Adam  de  Wynton,  a  monk 
of  the  Priory,  who  started  immediately  for 
Avignon  to  sue  for  the  Pope's  sanction. 
The  nominees  of  both  King  and  Chapter 
were  summarily  set  aside,  the  latter  re- 
maining on  at  the  Papal  Court  two  years 
in  the  hope  of  receiving  some  promotion, 
and  in  sorry  plight  because  of  the  scanty 
remittances  which  the  Convent  could  afford 
to  send  him. 

On  November  26,  1319,  a  Bull  of  Pro- 
vision was  issued  in  favour  of  Rigaud  de 
Assier,  whose  "knowledge  of  letters,  refine- 
ment of  manners,  and  unswerving  fidelity  " 
were  stated  to  be  well  known  by  experience. 
Assier,  from  which  Rigaud  took  his  sur- 
name, was  a  village  not  far  from  Cahors  in 
Aquitaine  ;  he  was  a  native  therefore  of  the 
same  district  as  the  Pope,  by  whom  he  had 
been  sent  to  England  in  1317  as  a  Nuncio, 
to  set  in  order  the  collection  of  Peter's 
pence,  and  other  dues  which  had  not  been 
regularly  paid,  with  letters  of  request  to  the 
English  prelates  to  assist  him,  and  provide 
for  him  a  stipend  of  seven  shillings  a  day. 
Canonries  in  London  and  Salisbury  were 
assigned  him,  and  he  was  rewarded  also  for 
his  services  with  the  office  of  Papal  Chap- 
lain, and  with  the  dignity  of  Sckolasticus 
or  Chancellor  of  the  Church  of  Orleans. 
No  little  tact  and  discretion  was  required 
to  exercise  without  offence  the  duties  of  his 
financial  office.  Most  of  the  foreign  col- 
lectors whom  we  read  of  left  an  ill-name 

behind  them  when  they  departed  from  our 
shores,  and  a  letter  in  the  Close  Rolls  of 
6  February,  1318,  speaks  of  "clamorous 
and  tumultuous  complaints  of  proceedings 
tending  to  the  impoverishment  of  many 
persons,  both  clerical  and  lay,  and  to  the 
prejudice  of  the  crown."  Formal  prohibi- 
tions were  therefore  issued  against  such 
unwarrantable  practices  on  his  part.  The 
hardships  implied  however  have  left  no 
further  traces  in  the  history  of  the  times, 
and  unpalatable  to  Englishmen  as  his 
work  might  be,  the  Pope  at  least  was  well 

He  was  formally  excused  from  the  trouble 
and  expense  of  an  immediate  visit  to  the 
Apostolic  See,  and  allowed  to  seek  orders 
and  consecration  from  any  bishop  of  his 
choice.  The  temporalities  were  restored 
on  April  17,  and  he  began  to  exercise  the 
powers  of  his  office,  but  he  was  not  ordained 
Priest  till  some  months  later,  and  on  Nov- 
ember 17,  1320,  he  was  consecrated  at  St. 
Alban's  Abbey  by  the  Bishop  of  London, 
with  the  help  of  other  Bishops. 

The  Pope  had  evidently  hoped  that 
Rigaud  would  exert  some  restraining  in- 
fluence on  the  misguided  policy  of  King 
Edward,  to  whom  he  had  written  in  July, 
urging  him  to  be  cautious  and  to  give 
attentive  hearing  to  the  advice  of  the 

During  the  short  vacancy  of  the  See 
the  royal  agents  seem  to  have  exercised 
their  temporary  powers  on  the  episcopal 
estates  with  little  scruple.  Fifteen  hundred 
large  trees  had  been  cut  down  in  his  woods, 
and  fines  at  St.  Giles'  Fair  had  been  taken 
by  the  King's  Clerk  of  the  Markets,  though 
by  old  usage  they  were  due  only  to  the 
Bishop.  Formal  petitions  were  issued  in 
his  name,  and  enquiries  made  in  Parlia- 
ment upon  the  subject.  During  the  next 
year  there  are  few  traces  of  personal 
activity  on  the  Bishop's  part  in  the  ad- 
ministration of  his  diocese,  beyond  the 
exercise  of  his  rights  to  nominate  nuns  in 
various  convents,  and  the  appointment  of 
penitentiaries  and  the  formal  institutions  of 
incumbents.  The  ordinations  were  held  by 


a  Dalmatian  bishop,  Peter  of  Corbavia, 
who  had  assisted  at  his  consecration,  and 
Walter  de  Stapeldon,  Bishop  of  Exeter,  was 
licensed  also  to  hold  ordinations  within  the 
Diocese  of  Winchester. 

From  February  to  May,  1321,  he  was 
detained  on  the  borders  of  Scotland  as 
one  of  the  Commissioners  deputed  to  treat 
for  peace  with  Robert  de  Brus,  and  Edward, 
in  a  letter  to  the  Pope,  writes  in  grateful 
terms  of  the  painstaking  and  loyal  efforts 
of  the  Bishop  in  his  behalf.  On  the  failure 
of  the  negotiations  he  returned  to  South- 
wark,  proceeding  afterwards  to  Winchester, 
where  he  was  enthroned  on  Whit-Sunday, 
June  the  7th.  On  the  following  Tuesday 
he  visited  a  few  other  manors,  and  then 
returned  to  Southwark. 

The  clergy  of  his  diocese  had  known 
him  mainly  hitherto  as  the  collector  of 
the  Papal  dues,  in  which  relation  they  had 
no  special  cause  to  love  him,  still  less 
when  leave  was  granted  him  to  exact  a 
subsidy  of  moderate  amount  from  all  the 
clergy,  regular  and  secular  alike,  of  his 
diocese,  to  meet  the  losses  and  expenses 
in  his  service  to  the  Papal  Camera,  the 
debts  incurred  by  him  being  recognised  as 
very  heavy.  They  would  sympathise  more 
warmly  with  him  when  he  publicly  deplored 
the  turbulence  and  civil  discords  that  were 
rife  in  England.  In  a  letter  from  Farnham 
to  the  Prior  of  St.  Swithun's  he  ordered  him 
to  assemble  his  brethren  with  the  monks  of 
Hyde  and  the  nuns  of  St.  Mary's  and  with 
the  parochial  clergy  to  make  a  solemn  pro- 
cession through  the  city,  with  prayers  for 
the  peace  and  well-being  of  the  realm. 

Soon  afterwards  the  Bishop  and  others 
were  deputed  to  go  to  the  Papal  Court  at 
Avignon  to  transact  certain  business  affect- 
ing Edward  and  the  state  of  his  kingdom,  as 
also  the  affairs  of  Scotland,  and  in  January, 
1322,  he  obtained  letters  of  protection  for 
James  Sinobaldi,  the  Archdeacon  of  Win- 
chester, and  others  of  his  suite,  as  also 
commendatory  letters  to  Philip  of  France 
and  to  the  Pope,  and  on  the  i8th  he  crossed 
from  Dover.  He  seems  to  have  remained 
in  attendance  on  the  Papal  Court  until 

Tuesday,  the  I2th  of  April,  1323,  when, 
after  an  absence  from  home  of  fifteen 
months,  he  died  at  Avignon,  and  was 
buried  there. 

At  Winchester  he  was  little  known,  for 
he  appears  to  have  been  at  Wolvesey  only 
for  his  consecration  and  during  the  follow- 
ing November,  and  he  was  not  much  more 
at  Farnham.  Taken  away  at  a  very  early 
age — before  his  maturity,  says  the  chronicler 
of  St.  Alban's — he  could  leave  no  mark 
upon  the  diocese  where  the  administrative 
work  was  mostly  delegated  to  others.  Col- 
lectively, indeed,  the  clergy  heard  from  him 
mainly  when  some  demand  was  made  upon 
their  purses,  as  in  the  case  of  the  "  moderate 
subsidy  "  sanctioned  by  the  Pope,  or  of  the 
contribution  of  one  farthing  in  the  pound, 
as  determined  by  the  bishops  generally,  for 
the  maintenance  of  a  Professor  of  Hebrew 
and  Greek  at  Oxford,  or  in  the  mandate 
admonishing  the  clergy  to  pay  their  quota 
towards  the  salary  of  their  proctor  at  the 

In  the  University  of  Oxford  he  showed 
no  interest,  for  it  is  once  only  named  in 
the  twenty-six  dispensations  for  residences 
granted  to  incumbents  to  enable  them  to 
pursue  a  course  of  liberal  studies. 

Though  many  were  admitted  by  the 
Bishop  to  the  first  tonsure,  only  one  general 
ordination  was  held  by  him,  that  at  Bishop's 
Waltham  in  1321  ;  the  rest  were  conducted 
by  Peter  of  Corbavia,  as  were  other  epis- 
copal ceremonies.  His  brother  Gerald, 
Prior  of  Peyrusse,  had  been  summoned  to 
his  help  at  his  appointment,  and  ruled  the 
diocese  as  Vicar-General  during  Rigaud's 
absence,  accepting  himself,  however,  no 
preferment,  though  Bertram  de  Assier,  who 
became  Rector  of  Freshwater  and  Master 
of  St.  Cross,  was  probably  his  nephew. 
Gerald  acted  as  the  Bishop's  executor,  and 
in  his  accounts  a  sum  of  £3270  was  re- 
turned by  him  as  due  to  the  Crown  for  the 
corn  and  stock  on  the  manors  sold  to  the 
Bishop,  and  for  fines  and  taxes  still  unpaid. 
Like  his  predecessor,  he  had  not  had  time 
to  recover  from  the  heavy  debts  incurred 
at  his  promotion. 


John  de  Stratford,  1323—1333. 

When  Rigaud  de  Assier  died  at  Avignon 
in  attendance  on  the  Papal  Court  in  April, 
1323,  it  rested  with  Pope  John  XXII,  ac- 
cording to  established  usage,  to  nominate 
his  successor.  The  choice  fell  on  John  de 
Stratford,  a  lawyer  of  high  repute,  who 
had  served  his  University  of  Oxford  in 
its  suit  with  the  Dominicans,  and  had 
been  employed  in  affairs  of  Church  and 
State  as  Dean  of  the  Court  of  Arches 
and  special  envoy  of  the  Crown.  In  recogni- 
tion of  his  merits  he  had  been  rewarded 
with  a  variety  of  ecclesiastical  preferments, 
passing  from  the  benefice  of  his  birth-place, 
Stratford-on-Avon,  to  a  Canonry  of  York 
and  Archdeaconry  of  Lincoln. 

As  he  had  been  some  time  at  the  Papal 
Court  engaged  on  business  of  the  Crown 
with  Bishop  Rigaud,  his  talents  may  have 
attracted  notice  there,  and  the  chronicler, 
Blaneforde,  accepts  the  statement  that  the 
preferment  was  the  Pope's  free  gift,  un- 
influenced by  prayers  or  presents.  Some 
Papal  letters  put  a  different  face  upon  the 
matter.  One  sanctions  a  loan  of  £2000 — 
about  £30,000  in  present  value — to  cover 
his  expenses  at  the  Court ;  a  second  presses 
for  speedy  payment  to  the  money-lenders  ; 
a  third  remits  ecclesiastical  penalties  in- 
curred by  the  delay,  on  condition,  however, 
that  the  debt  should  be  immediately  dis- 
charged. The  Papacy,  which  had  in  earlier 
times  discouraged  interest  on  loans  as 
quite  immoral,  now  frequently  secured  by 
the  sanctions  of  the  Church  the  bankers 
who  advanced  the  large  sums  required  for 
the  purchase  of  preferments.  King  Edward, 
however,  had  desired  the  appointment  of 
his  Chancellor,  Robert  Baldock,  and  in- 
structed Stratford  to  promote  the  interests 
of  his  nominee.  The  despatches  arrived 
perhaps  too  late,  says  Murimuth  :  more 
probably  he  ignored  the  wishes  of  a  master, 
who  in  this,  as  in  other  cases,  inspired  in 
his  servants  neither  loyalty  nor  respect. 

The  acceptance  of  the  post,  and  the 
intrigues  which  had  secured  it,  were  not 
easily  forgiven,  and  ominous  words  recited 

in  the  Consecration  Service  in  June,  1323, 
"  Many  are  the  troubles  of  the  righteous," 
were  remembered  when  the  Bishop's  estates 
wereconfiscated,  and  himself  banned  by  royal 
proclamation  for  acceptance  of  the  office 
without  the  sanction  of  the  Crown.  A  year 
later  the  King's  resentment  died  away,  or 
Baldock's  influence  was  on  the  wane  :  the 
Pope  and  some  of  the  Bishops  had  inter- 
vened in  his  behalf,  and  the  temporalities 
were  restored,  though  on  condition  of  a 
bond  for  £10,000,  which  if  enforced  would 
have  made  the  price  paid  for  the  See  a 
heavy  one.  His  diplomatic  powers  were 
employed  again  in  1325,  when  Queen 
Isabella,  allowed  to  go  to  France  seemingly 
by  his  advice,  maintained  her  guilty  inter- 
course with  Mortimer  and  her  schemes  to 
dethrone  the  King  by  force. 

When  the  crisis  came,  an  old  bull  against 
invaders  of  the  realm  was  republished  by 
Archbishop  Reynolds,  with  the  concurrence, 
it  appears,  of  Stratford,  and  he  was  present 
when  the  bishops  joined  at  Lambeth  in 
feeble  and  ineffectual  counsels  in  the 
interest  of  peace.  He  alone  of  them  was 
willing  to  go  with  some  other  bishop  to  the 
Queen  to  try  to  avert  the  strife,  but  no  one 
consented  to  accompany  him,  and  his  con- 
fidence of  safety  seems  to  point  to  earlier 
knowledge  of  her  plots.  When  it  succeeded 
he  took  the  oath  of  fealty  to  the  new  rulers 
as  Treasurer,  and  after  the  Archbishop's 
sermon  before  Parliament  on  Vox  populi 
vox  dei,  he  added  :  "  Where  the  head  is 
feeble,  the  other  members  suffer  with  it." 
He  helped  to  frame  the  articles  drawn  up 
to  justify  Edward's  removal  from  the  throne, 
and  he  was  one  of  the  three  bishops  sent 
to  require  him  to  resign  it  in  favour  of 
his  son. 

As  one  of  the  appointed  guardians  of  the 
young  king  he  was  prepared  to  serve  him 
loyally,  but  he  could  not  conceal  his 
impatience  at  the  uncontrolled  ascendancy 
of  Mortimer  and  Isabella.  He  withdrew 
from  the  Parliament  at  Salisbury  in  1328, 
notwithstanding  the  orders  issued  that  no 
one  should  leave  without  permission,  and 
attended  at  Christmas  a  conference  in 


London  of  the  supporters  of  Henry  Earl  of 
Lancaster,  whom  the  Pope  calls  "  the  kins- 
man "  of  the  Bishop.  Warned  that  his  life 
was  now  in  danger,  after  demand  had  been 
made  for  payment  of  the  bond  for  ;£  10,000, 
he  took  sanctuary  in  the  Nunnery  of  Wilton 
and  then  fled  to  Honiton  and  afterwards  to 
Winchester,  where  Wolvesey  Castle  was 
found  in  too  weak  a  state  to  screen  him  from 
attack.  He  retired  therefore  to  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Bishop's  Waltham,  where  he 
lurked  awhile  as  an  outlaw  in  the  forest 
glades.  The  fall  of  Mortimer  brought 
relief  from  risk  and  hardship.  The  Great 
Seal  was  given  him  in  1330,  and  his  was 
the  guiding  influence  in  the  government 
which  at  this  time  effected  the  important 
changes  of  the  division  of  both  Parliament 
and  Convocation  into  two  separate  houses, 
and  of  the  establishment  of  a  Court  of 
Chancery  at  Westminster.  The  Chancellor- 
ship was  several  times  resigned  by  him 
into  the  hands  of  his  brother  Robert, 
Bishop  of  Chichester,  for  diplomatic  work 
and  attendance  on  the  King  took  him 
repeatedly  away  to  Scotland,  France,  and 
Flanders,  and  his  promotion  to  the  primacy 
in  1333  may  have  stirred  in  him  some  wish 
to  give  less  time  to  the  affairs  of  State  in 
the  interest  of  the  Church.  His  advance- 
ment was  desired  by  the  King,  and  accepted 
by  the  Chapter,  but  the  Pope  decided  to 
ignore  their  wishes  and  to  appoint  him  as 
of  his  own  unfettered  choice,  a  claim  to 
meet  which  the  Statute  of  Provisors  was 
afterwards  directed. 

Stratford's  cautious  judgment  mistrusted 
the  adventurous  policy  of  his  master,  though 
a  strange  story  is  told  that  both  of  them 
journeyed  in  the  disguise  of  merchants  in 
1331  on  a  pilgrimage  to  certain  shrines  in 
France.  Indeed  he  disapproved  so  much 
of  the  rash  enterprise  which  led  to  the 
great  naval  victory  of  Sluys  in  1339,  that 
he  finally  resigned  the  Great  Seal,  and  this 
was  the  prelude  to  the  bitter  quarrel  that 
was  soon  to  follow.  Unable  to  provide  the 
funds  which  were  squandered  in  the  course 
of  an  unprofitable  war,  though  he  made 
himself  personally  responsible  for  loans 

raised  for  it,  he  roused  impatient  mistrust 
in  the  mind  of  Edward,  and  a  dissolute 
court  which  found  Stratford's  decorum  and 
economy  little  to  its  taste,  would  gladly 
seize  the  chance  to  rid  itself  of  an  importu- 
nate critic. 

Edward  returned  suddenly  to  London 
in  1340  without  warning,  found  the  Tower 
unguarded,  without  preparations  for  the  de- 
fence or  maintenance  even  of  his  children, 
for  the  country  had  been  drained  of  men  and 
money  for  the  war.  Robert  de  Stratford, 
the  Chancellor,  and  the  Bishop  of  Lichfield, 
the  Treasurer,  were  dismissed,  and  laymen 
appointed  in  their  places  ;  other  officials 
were  arrested,  but  the  Primate,  knowing  the 
King's  temper,  had  already  hurried  to  the 
Priory  of  Christ  Church,  Canterbury,  as 
to  a  safe  shelter.  Thither  came  early  in 
December  Nicholas  Cantelupe,  who,  shew- 
ing his  warrant  in  the  presence  of  a  notary 
public,  required  him  in  the  King's  name  to 
prepare  to  go  to  Flanders  to  make  good  his 
bail  for  the  money  borrowed  for  the  war. 
The  official  was  dismissed  without  reply. 
The  Archbishop,  however,  was  not  content 
to  wait  in  patience  till  further  action  should 
be  taken  by  the  Crown.  He  chose  the 
anniversary  of  the  death  of  St.  Thomas  of 
Canterbury  (December  2gth)  for  the  occa- 
sion of  a  striking  demonstration,  preaching 
first  in  the  Cathedral  on  the  fearless  con- 
stancy of  Becket,  and  deploring  that,  unlike 
that  great  example  he  had  himself  served 
the  state,  to  the  neglect  of  the  more  special 
duties  of  his  office.  He  would  devote  him- 
self henceforth  to  the  defence  of  the  claims 
and  privileges  of  the  Church,  some  of  whose 
servants  were  now  lawlessly  imprisoned,  and 
others  slanderously  branded  as  disloyal.  All 
guilty  of  such  violation  of  the  Great  Charter, 
or  who  attacked  ecclesiastical  rights,  were 
solemnly  excommunicated  in  presence  of 
the  clergy,  who  stood  round  in  their  robes 
with  lighted  candles  in  their  hands.  The 
sentence  was  published  in  all  the  Churches 
of  the  province.  Meantime,  the  new  minis- 
try, under  lay  control,  in  its  haste  to  provide 
funds,  was  dealing  harshly  and  unfairly  with 
the  clergy,  and  the  Archbishop  lost  no 



time  in  redeeming  the  pledges  given  in  his 
sermon.  He  wrote  first  to  the  King  to 
warn  him  not  to  be  led  astray  by  evil 
councillors  like  Rehoboam,  or  to  disregard 
the  lessons  of  his  father's  misrule  and 
fall.  He  expostulated  with  the  Chancellor 
against  the  exactions  levied  on  the  clergy 
and  the  violation  of  the  Great  Charter  in 
imprisonment  without  forms  of  law.  In  a 
letter  to  the  King  in  Council  he  denounced 
all  violent  seizure  of  ecclesiastical  property 
or  persons,  and  informed  the  prelates  of 
his  province  through  the  Bishop  of  London 
of  the  sentences  of  excommunication  form- 
ally pronounced  against  all  such  offenders. 

At  first  the  only  visible  result  of  these 
vigorous  letters  was  that  messengers  were 
sent  repeatedly  with  formal  summons  to 
him  to  present  himself  before  the  King  : 
merchants  of  Brabant  were  allowed  even  to 
post  up  in  Canterbury,  outside  the  Priory 
of  Christ  Church,  a  notice  requiring  the 
Archbishop  to  cross  over  to  Flanders  to 
discharge  the  debts  for  which  he  had  been 
surety.  But  to  meet  the  challenge  which 
he  fiad  put  forth  so  boldly  an  appeal  to 
public  opinion  seemed  required,  and  this 
came  a  few  days  afterwards  (February 
loth)  in  the  King's  letter  to  the  Prior  and 
Convent,  which,  by  the  Archbishop's  desire, 
was  read  publicly  in  the  Cathedral  on  Ash 
Wednesday,  and  answered  in  detail  before 
the  people. 

The  libellus  famosus,  as  it  was  called, 
was  a  long  and  bitter  indictment  of  the 
Archbishop,  as  having  from  the  first 
determined  the  whole  policy  of  the  present 
reign  as  the  trusted  adviser  of  the  Crown, 
encouraged  the  profuse  liberalities  of  the 
young  ruler  which  had  exhausted  the 
Treasury,  ruined  the  military  schemes 
which  he  had  prompted  by  withholding  the 
promised  funds,  and  insulted  the  King  by 
refusing  to  appear  before  him  except  in 
Parliament,  as  if  he  were  in  peril  of  his 
life,  and  the  pledge  of  safe  conduct  would 
be  broken. 

Stratford  replied  point  by  point  in  firm 
but  temperate  language  to  the  charges 

brought  against  him,  exposing  inconsist- 
encies in  the  messages  of  summons  sent  to 
him,  and  stating  that  far  from  applying  to 
his  own  use  the  funds  which  the  army  was 
expecting,  he  had  spent  largely  of  his  own 
means  in  his  many  journeys  on  affairs  of 
state,  for  which  he  crossed  the  sea  on 
thirty-two  occasions,  and  that  during  the 
whole  course  of  the  war  he  had  drawn 
only  ;£3°°  from  the  Treasury  for  his  own 
expenses.  All  this  he  offered  to  prove  in 
his  defence  according  to  the  law  and  custom 
of  the  realm. 

The  complaints  of  misrule  were  growing 
louder,  and  the  Government  found  it  need- 
ful to  give  way,  and  to  summon  Parliament 
to  meet  on  the  23rd  of  April. 

Then  the  Archbishop  started  on  his  way 
to  London,  journeying  slowly  from  one  to 
another  of  his  manors,  arriving  finally  at 
Lambeth  on  the  day  fixed  for  the  meeting. 
On  the  morrow  he  proceeded  to  West- 
minster with  his  brother  Robert  and  his 
kinsman,  Bishop  Ralph  of  London,  together 
with  a  large  escort  of  lay  and  clerical 
attendants.  There  at  the  door  of  the 
Great  Hall  he  was  met  by  the  Baron  of 
Stafford  and  others,  who  required  him  in 
the  King's  name  to  go  first  to  the  Exchequer 
Chamber  before  entering  Parliament,  and 
to  answer  the  charges  brought  against  him. 
The  Archbishop  replied  that  he  had  been 
summoned  to  take  counsel  with  his  peers, 
but  as  such  was  the  King's  pleasure  he 
would  go  at  once  to  the  Exchequer.  When 
the  charges  had  been  heard,  he  answered 
merely  that  he  would  take  time  to  consider 
them,  returning  at  once  to  the  Hall  and 
entering  the  Painted  Chamber,  where  he 
took  his  seat  with  a  few  of  the  bishops,  to 
whom  he  said  that  he  was  there  to  serve  the 
King  and  to  defend  his  honour.  The 
Chancellor,  unprepared  for  his  appearance, 
adjourned  the  Parliament  to  the  morrow. 

Some  days  were  spent  by  him,  either  at 
Westminster  Hall,  where  the  King  refused 
to  meet  him,  or  at  the  Exchequer,  where  he 
replied  to  the  accusations  brought  against 
him.  Bishop  Adam  of  Winchester  and  the 



Chancellor  urged  him  in  vain  to  humble 
himself  and  sue  for  grace  which  the  King 
would  grant.  Another  time  his  way  to  the 
Painted  Chamber  was  barred  by  the 
officials,  and  his  refusal  to  retire  was 
followed  by  a  storm  of  insults  and  re- 
proaches. Unseemly  scenes  recurred,  and 
attempts  were  made  to  damage  his  character 
in  the  eyes  of  the  citizens  by  false  charges  ; 
but  the  people  shewed  their  sympathy,  and 
a  Committee  of  Parliament  reported  that 
he  could  not  be  tried  except  in  Parliament 
before  his  peers.  The  King  began  to  mis- 
trust the  policy  of  his  advisers.  At  length 
the  Archbishop  was  allowed  to  take  his 
place  while  the  King  was  seated  on  his 
throne  ;  all  orders  joined  in  pleading  in  his 
behalf,  and  the  King's  favour  was  restored. 

The  articles  drawn  up  against  him  were 
formally  annulled  in  1343  as  unreasonable 
and  untrue,  and  use  was  made  repeatedly 
of  his  services  as  an  experienced  adviser  of 
the  Crown.  During  the  King's  absence  he 
was  at  the  head  of  the  Council  in  1345  and 
in  the  following  year.  But  during  the 
remaining  years  of  his  life  he  devoted 
much  more  attention  than  before  to  ecclesi- 
astical affairs.  Two  provincial  councils 
were  held  by  him  in  London,  and  con- 
stitutions were  drawn  up  for  the  guidance 
of  the  clergy  in  which,  besides  earlier 
enactments  then  repeated,  stringent  rules 
were  issued  to  curb  extravagance  in  clerical 
dress,  and  abuses  of  official  claims.  His 
later  vigilance,  however,  was  less  welcome 
than  the  earlier  neglect ;  his  visitation  of 
Norwich  was  resisted,  and  the  spiritual 
weapon  of  excommunication  and  the  power 
of  the  Crown  were  both  appealed  to  in  his 

Though  his  preferment  had  been  due  to 
Papal  favour,  he  fully  shared  the  national 
mistrust  of  the  French  bias  of  the  Papal 
Court  at  Avignon,  and  sympathised  with 
the  resentment  felt  at  the  intrusion  of  aliens 
into  the  benefices  of  the  English  Church. 
Clement  VI  indeed,  to  whom  strong  re- 
monstrances against  his  aggressions  were 
addressed,  regarded  Stratford  as  the  chief 

mover  in  the  policy  of  resistance,  and 
though  this  was  formally  denied  by  Edward, 
there  is  no  reason  to  doubt  the  Archbishop's 
approval  of  the  course  adopted. 

In  1348  he  was  seized  at  Maidstone  with 
an  illness  which  he  knew  was  fatal.  He 
was  carried  to  his  favourite  manor  of 
Mayfield,  where  his  charities  had  been  large 
and  regular,  and  there  he  passed  away. 
"  Then  died,"  says  Dene,  "  the  chief  adviser 
of  the  King,  and  in  token  of  reward  all  his 
property  was  confiscated  at  his  death,  and 
havoc  made  of  his  estates."  His  body  was 
taken  to  Canterbury  to  repose  under  the 
tomb  on  which  his  recumbent  statue  may 
be  still  seen. 

His  self-seeking  and  disloyal  attitude 
towards  the  second  Edward  was  shared  by 
most  of  the  bishops  of  his  time  ;  many  of 
them  had  gained  preferment  by  like  in- 
trigues, and  as  one  of  them  warned  the 
rest,  the  people  ascribed  most  of  the  evils 
of  the  age  to  their  fatuous  ignorance  and 
sloth  (Dene).  But  he  did  his  best  to  make 
amends  for  the  faults  of  earlier  years  by 
his  firm  adherence  to  the  principles  of  con- 
stitutional rule.  To  secure  this  he  braved 
the  resentment  of  the  Queen-Mother  and 
her  paramour,  and  despite  the  displeasure 
of  King  and  Court  he  maintained  the  rights 
of  his  order  and  the  liberties  defined  in  the 
Great  Charter.  His  appeal  to  the  pre- 
cedents of  Becket  may  seem  belated,  and 
his  spiritual  pretensions  weakened  by  his 
long  absorption  in  secular  work  ;  his  flight 
to  Canterbury  appeared  to  himself  unworthy 
of  the  inspiring  local  memories  (MS.  ser- 
mons in  Cathedral  Library  of  Hereford), 
but  the  result  of  his  stand  was  a  real 
gain  to  constitutional  progress  which  had 
been  jeopardised  and  delayed  by  Becket's 

There  is  no  striking  element  in  his 
ecclesiastical  constitutions,  but  they  shew 
that  he  was  anxious  to  restrain  arbitrary 
action  and  curb  official  insolence  in  the 
Church  as  well  as  in  the  State. 

Though  the  See  of  Winchester  has  sup- 
plied the  State  with  many  chancellors,  since 



Stratford  no  one  before  our  days  passed 
from  it  to  the  throne  of  Canterbury.  Both 
as  Bishop  and  as  Primate  he  had  friendly 
relations  with  the  leading  convents  of  his 
sees.  At  Winchester  indeed  the  Prior 
Richard  was  found  incompetent,  and  the 
Bishop  was  requested  by  the  Pope  to  put 
another  in  his  place.  The  monks  mistrust- 
ing perhaps  their  own  harmony  did  not 
apparently  resent  the  loss  of  the  freedom 
from  interference  with  their  Prior.  At 
Canterbury  he  had  kindly  correspondence 
with  the  Prior  of  Christ  Church,  and  found 
shelter  there  in  time  of  need.  Even  St. 
Augustine's,  whose  chronicler,  Thorn,  snarls 

often  at  the  rulers  of  the  Church,  came  to 
an  agreement  with  him  on  matters  long 

Of  his  benefactions  to  his  native  place 
some  traces  are  still  left  in  the  enlargement 
of  the  aisles  and  tower  of  the  church.  His 
chantry  of  course  was  swept  away,  with  its 
college  of  priests  endowed  for  a  constant 
round  of  prayer  for  the  peace  of  his  soul 
and  that  of  others.  By  a  curious  reversal 
of  the  usual  relations,  when  he  bought  the 
advowson  of  the  church,  he  made  it  over 
to  his  college,  the  priests  of  which  became 
the  patrons  not  the  subordinates  of  the 


Adam  de  Orleton,  1333—1346. 

When  John  de  Stratford  passed  from 
Winchester  to  the  throne  of  Canterbury 
his  place  was  taken  in  the  former  See  by 
Adam,  bishop  of  Worcester,  who  had  played 
a  prominent  part  in  the  intrigues  and 
political  struggles  of  the  last  reign,  and 
had  still  before  him  some  years  of  his 
"great  bustling  in  the  world,"  as  Fuller 
calls  it.  His  surname  points  to  a  place 
in  the  north  of  Herefordshire  which 
belonged  to  the  Mortimers  of  Wigmore, 
but  others  of  his  name  held  property  and 
filled  public  offices  at  Hereford,  where  he 
was  said  to  have  been  born.  As  Doctor 
of  Canon  Law  and  Papal  Chaplain  and 
Auditor  he  had  prebends  given  him  both 
at  Hereford  and  Wells,  as  well  as  various 
Rectories  in  other  dioceses,  and  acted  often 
as  Papal  Commissioner  by  special  mandate. 
The  See  of  Hereford  fell  vacant  when  he 
was  at  Avignon  in  1317  on  business  of  the 
Crown,  and  it  was  bestowed  on  him  by 
Pope  John  XXII,  against  the  wishes  of 
Edward  II,  who  had  written  to  the  Pope 
and  Cardinals  in  order  to  secure  it  for 
Thomas  de  Charlton,  and  had  ordered 
Orleton  to  refuse  it  if  offered  to  himself. 
The  temporalities  however  were  given  to 
him  soon  after  his  consecration,  and  during 
the  next  three  years  he  was  sent  several 
times  on  affairs  of  State  both  to  the  French 
and  Papal  Court.  The  Pope  meantime 
shewed  him  marks  of  special  trust  and 
favour,  empowering  him  to  deal  firmly  with 
dissolute  convents  and  a  somewhat  stiff- 
necked  Chapter  which  occasionally  re- 
sented episcopal  control.  He  lost  no  time 
in  acting  on  his  powers  at  the  Abbey  of 
Wigmore  to  which  he  wrote  in  1318,  "I 
will  visit  in  head  and  members  that 
monastery  of  yours  which  the  Lord  hath 
blessed  of  old  in  the  dew  of  heaven  and 
the  fatness  of  the  earth."  He  kept  his 
word,  appointed  a  new  abbot,  banished 
two  canons,  and  trounced  the  rest  with 
little  mercy. 

When  the  Barons  rose  against  Edward 
and  the  Despensers  in  1321  the  Bishop's 

local  sympathies  decided  him  in  favour  of 
Roger  Mortimer,  to  whom  he  promised 
help  and  sent  men  of  arms  to  Ledbury  to 
join  his  forces,  and  went  to  demand  of 
Edward  in  the  name  of  the  barons  the 
dismissal  of  the  hated  favourites.  The 
heads  of  the  party  died  for  the  most  part 
on  the  battlefield  or  on  the  gallows,  and 
Adam  was  not  shielded  by  his  spiritual 
office  from  attack.  Summoned  before 
Parliament  he  refused  to  make  answer  to 
the  charge  of  treason,  except  with  the 
sanction  of  his  brother  bishops,  who  inter- 
ceded vainly  for  him  with  the  King.  The 
whole  episcopal  order  took  him  under  their 
protection  and  screened  him  by  their 
anathemas  from  arrest.  But  the  trial  pro- 
ceeded in  his  absence,  unprecedented  as  it 
seemed  for  a  bishop's  crime  to  be  brought 
before  a  lay  tribunal,  and  he  was  found 
guilty,  his  revenues  and  lands  were  con- 
fiscated, his  property,  Blaneford  reports, 
was  flung  into  the  streets,  but  "  naked  and 
forlorn  as  blessed  Job  he  bore  it  all  with 

The  Pope  indeed  wrote  to  him  to  be 
humble  and  avoid  scandal,  and  pleaded  for 
him  repeatedly  with  Queen  Isabella  and 
Hugh  Despenser,  but  Edward's  resentment 
was  not  yet  appeased,  and  he  begged  the 
Pope  in  1324  that  as  guilty  of  treason  he 
might  be  deposed.  He  did  not  therefore, 
like  other  bishops,  hesitate  when  the  Queen 
landed  in  1326  to  raise  the  country  against 
her  husband,  but  acted  at  once  as  her  chief 
adviser,  and  preaching  before  the  University 
of  Oxford  on  the  text,  "My  head,  my  head," 
(z  Kings  iv,  19),  applied  it  in  the  sens§  that 
the  state  sorely  needed  a  change  of  head 
and  better  rule.  It  was  due  probably  to 
his  local  influence  and  that  of  his  family 
that  Hereford  became  for  a  time  the  head 
quarters  of  the  Queen,  and  it  was  there  that 
Hugh  Despenser  and  others  found  an 
ignominious  death  when  the  King  was 
taken  prisoner.  The  Chancellor  Baldock, 
handed  over  to  the  Bishop's  custody  for 
benefit  of  clergy,  was  seized  by  the  citizens 
of  London  and  lodged  in  Newgate,  when 
he  was  rashly  or  cruelly  exposed  to  their 



vindictive  passion  on  his  way  to  the  Bishop's 
house  on  old  Fish  Street  Hill. 

He  took  a  prominent  part  and  was  per- 
haps the  guiding  influence  in  the  tragic 
scenes  which  followed.  When  Parliament 
met  in  January,  1 327, he  took  the  chancellor's 
place  and  declared  that  the  Queen  would 
be  in  peril  of  her  life  if  she  joined  her 
husband,  and  after  speaking  on  the  subject 
of  the  King's  dethronement  bade  the  mem- 
bers go  home  and  reflect  and  give  their 
decision  on  the  morrow.  At  their  next 
meeting,  after  some  hesitation,  they  voted 
with  one  accord  that  the  son  should  take 
his  father's  place.  The  bishops  of  Hereford 
and  Winchester  were  sent  to  Edward,  and 
vainly  tried  to  persuade  him  to  appear 
before  Parliament.  On  his  refusal  a  deputa- 
tion, of  which  bishop  Adam  was  the  spokes- 
man, drove  him  with  bitter  words  to  resign 
the  Crown  in  favour  of  his  son.  Still  worse 
things  were  imputed  to  the  "architect  of  all 
this  evil,"  as  a  chronicler  calls  him.  It  was 
said  that  an  ambiguous  message,  which 
might  be  read  as  either  to  encourage  or 
forbid  the  murder  of  the  dethroned  prisoner, 
was  sent  to  those  in  charge,  who  read 
in  it  the  meaning  which  they  wished  to  find 
there.  The  story  indeed  is  copied  in  the 
main  from  a  chronicle  of  earlier  date,  and 
the  Bishop  was  far  away  treating  for  a 
bride  for  the  young  king  when  the  fatal 
deed  was  done,  but  that  the  tale  should  be 
believed  is  in  itself  an  ugly  fact.  An  entry 
in  the  Patent  Rolls  may  imply  some  sense 
of  pity  at  the  tragedies  at  which  he  had 
assisted.  In  1327  a  licence  was  granted  to 
the  Earl  of  Hereford,  at  the  request  of 
bishop  Adam,  to  alienate  a  property  in 
mortmain  in  order  that  the  Warden  and 
chaplains  of  the  Cathedral  might  celebrate 
mass  thenceforth  for  the  souls  of  the  new 
King,  his  father  and  mother,  and  for  bishop 
Adam  himself. 

The  temporalities  of  the  See,  which  had 
been  long  withheld,  were  now  of  course 
restored,  and  he  was  made  Treasurer  ;  and 
in  the  full  confidence  of  the  new  rulers  he 
was  sent  to  France  on  special  missions 
connected  with  the  royal  marriage,  when 

four  marks  daily  were  allowed  him  for  the 
expenses  of  his  household.  While  he  was 
at  Avignon  the  bishop  of  Worcester  died, 
and  again  advantage  was  taken  of  the 
opportunity,  and  the  Papal  nomination  was 
secured  by  him,  although  the  Chapter  had 
with  the  royal  assent  elected  their  own 
Prior  to  the  office,  and  several  letters  had 
been  sent  by  the  Crown  to  bishop  Adam  to 
see  that  the  Chapter's  choice  might  be  con- 
firmed. What  was  his  reason  for  desiring 
the  translation  does  not  appear.  The  in- 
come of  the  See  of  Hereford  seems  to  have 
been  greater  than  that  of  Worcester,  though 
his  predecessor,  Swinfield,  wrote  of  it  as 
one  of  the  smallest  in  all  England,  and  the 
Pope  in  1333  sanctioned  the  appropriation 
by  him  of  the  church  of  Blockley  on  the 
ground  that  the  income  of  the  See  of 
Worcester  was  quite  insufficient  for  his 

The  self-willed  prelate  was  summoned 
before  the  Parliament  at  York  in  1328  for 
his  disobedience  and  unlicensed  acceptance 
of  his  new  See,  but  the  storm  passed  over, 
and  he  was  employed  soon  after  and  in 
following  years  on  business  of  State  in 
foreign  parts.  In  the  course  of  these  com- 
missions he  gained  the  favour  of  Philip  VI 
of  France,  and  at  his  request  was  nominated 
by  the  Pope  to  the  See  of  Winchester 
when  it  was  vacated  by  Stratford  in  Sep- 
tember, 1333.  Again  the  will  of  the  King 
was  disregarded  and  this  time  more  serious 
offence  was  given,  for  in  March,  1334,  when 
notices  were  sent  to  all  the  bishops  excep- 
tion was  made  in  the  case  of  "  Adam,  who 
claims  to  be  bishop  of  Winchester."  The 
temporalities  were  not  restored  till  Septem- 
ber, 1334,  after  intercession  of  his  brother 
bishops,  and  many  letters  written  by  the 
Pope  to  the  King  and  the  Archbishops  and 
other  persons  of  influence.  More  than  that 
demand  had  been  made  to  the  Papal  Court 
that  "  a  man  infamous  for  many  crimes " 
should  not  be  promoted  to  higher  rank, 
and  three  charges  were  formally  brought 
against  him  :  that  he  had  (i)  allowed 
Baldock  to  be  done  to  death  by  the  rioters 
in  London,  (2)  called  Edward  II  a  tyrant 


and  so  estranged  the  hearts  of  his  subjects 
from  him,  (3)  induced  Queen  Isabella  to 
refuse  to  join  her  husband.  He  met  the 
charges  with  a  clever  and  elaborate  apology, 
laying  much  of  the  responsibility  for  all 
that  had  occurred  on  the  newly  elected 
Primate,  explaining  the  term  "tyrant"  used 
by  himself  as  applied  to  Satan  and  Hugh 
Despenser,  and  appealing  to  the  proclama- 
tions of  the  Queen  Mother  and  her  son  as 
evidence  of  the  facts  on  which  he  had 
commented  in  sermons  and  speeches  to 
the  Parliament,  and  to  the  instructions  of 
the  nobles  assembled  at  Wallingford,  on 
which  he  acted  in  setting  forth  publicly  the 
reasons  for  her  action. 

For  some  time  after  this  he  seems  to 
have  taken  little  part  in  political  trans- 
actions, and  perhaps  from  caution  made  no 
effort  to  compete  with  the  influence  of 
Stratford  while  he  was  the  chief  adviser 
of  the  Crown.  But  in  1341  the  sudden 
change  of  ministry  and  Edward's  estrange- 
ment from  the  Primate  caused  a  reappear- 
ance of  bishop  Adam  on  the  stage.  The 
libellus  Jamosus  issued  in  the  King's  name 
— a  phrase  which  the  Bishop  had  himself 
employed  in  his  defence  of  1334 — was 
believed  to  have  been  penned  by  him,  and 
his  denial  of  its  authorship  was  evidently 
not  accepted  by  the  Archbishop,  who 
listened  in  silence  to  his  statement.  At 
Westminster  Hall  his  attitude  was  markedly 
hostile  to  the  statesman  in  disgrace.  He 
urged  him  to  humble  himself  before  the 
King,  and  so  recover  his  good  graces,  but 
in  a  conference  with  the  peers  he  tried  with 
glee,  says  Birchington,  to  stir  up  strife  by 
charges  which  his  hearers  knew  were  false 
and  presently  exposed.  In  the  final  scene, 
when  prelates  and  lay  peers  pleaded  with 
the  King  in  the  Archbishop's  behalf,  the 
name  of  Adam  of  Winchester  is  not  found 
in  the  list. 

After  that  time  he  vanishes  almost  entirely 
from  public  life,  except  that  we  hear  of  a 
Visitation  of  the  Priory  of  Winchester  con- 
ducted by  him  in  1342  ;  he  became  blind, 
and  died  at  Farnham  in  1345,  and  was 
buried  in  his  own  Cathedral. 

His  episcopal  career  was  remarkable  in 
the  eyes  of  his  contemporaries  in  that  he 
held  three  bishopricks  in  succession,  in  all 
cases  by  Papal  favour  and  against  the 
expressed  desire  of  the  King.  Wits  made 
merry  with  his  supposed  motives,  as  in  the 
lines,  where  the  Sees  are  indicated  by  the 
names  of  their  patron  Saints — 

Thomam  despexit :  Wolstanum  non  bene  rexit : 
Swithunum  maluit.     Cur  ?    Quia  plus  valuit. 

In  1334  the  surprise  and  discontent  at  his 
promotion  found  expression  in  a  formal 
opposition  and  appeal  by  John  Pebrehave, 
a  literate  of  the  diocese,  but  unfortunately 
the  grounds  have  not  been  stated  in  the 
Papal  letter  on  the  subject. 

There  are,  however,  indications  of  a  gener- 
ous and  kindly  spirit.  He  founded  a  hospital 
in  Hereford,  of  which  there  are  now  no  local 
memories,  and  his  relations  with  the  chapter 
there  were  for  the  most  part  cordial  and 
considerate.  He  helped  to  obtain  the  Papal 
sanction  to  appropriate,  according  to  the 
custom  of  the  age,  a  valuable  benefice,  the 
income  of  which  has  been  the  mainstay  of 
the  fabric  ever  since ;  he  gave  liberal  aid 
besides  when  he  heard  at  Worcester  that 
"his  former  spouse,"  as  he  termed  it,  was 
distressed  for  want  of  funds.  Long  after- 
wards he  signed  a  deed  at  Winchester 
which  secured  a  home  for  an  old  friend  or 
dependent  at  Hereford,  and  poor  relations 
of  bishop  Swinfield  came  also  to  him  there 
with  the  sure  hope  of  kindly  welcome.  At 
Winchester  he  helped  the  nuns  of  St. 
Mary's,  sore  pressed  by  agricultural  de- 
pression, to  appropriate  the  church  of 
Froyle  to  enable  them  to  pay  their  debts. 
He  seems,  however,  to  have  been  vigilant 
in  correcting  conventual  disorders,  as  at 
Wigmore,  Abergavenny,  and  St.  Guthlac's. 

His  later  years  were  spent  in  quiet,  and 
he  found  perhaps  comfort  in  the  thought 
that  early  in  his  career  Pope  John  XXII 
had  tenderly  provided  that  his  confessor 
might  give  him  at  his  hour  of  death  plenary 
absolution  of  all  repented  sins. 



William  da  Edyndone,  1345—1366. 

Immediately  after  the  death  of  Bishop 
Adam  the  monks  of  St.  Swithun's  took 
steps  in  haste  to  put  their  prior,  John 
Devenesche,  into  the  vacant  See,  and 
though  a  royal  mandate  was  sent  to  them 
to  suspend  further  action,  they  persisted  in 
their  choice,  some  of  them  even  threaten- 
ing the  King's  messenger  with  violence,  and 
"  procuring  the  election  by  false  confeder- 
acies arranged  before  among  themselves," 
as  was  stated  in  a  letter  patent  ordering  a 
commission  of  inquiry  by  the  Sheriff.  King 
Edward,  careless  of  consistency  in  his 
dealings  with  the  Papal  Court,  appealed  to 
Clement  VI  to  set  aside  the  election  of  the 
convent  in  favour  of  his  Treasurer,  William 
de  Edyndone,  and  with  the  potent  "in- 
fluence of  money  his  erroneous  petition  was 
accepted"  (Thorn),  and  John  Devenesche 
was  bidden  to  wait  at  Court  till  other  pre- 
ferment could  be  found  for  him. 

The  new  Bishop,  whose  name  was  taken 
from  a  village  in  Wiltshire,  obtained  his 
first  post  in  the  service  of  the  Crown  with 
the  help  of  his  predecessor,  bishop  Adam, 
who  had  given  him  the  benefice  of  Cheriton. 
He  had  had  before  a  parish  in  the  Diocese 
of  Lincoln,  from  which  he  passed  by  ex- 
change to  Bledon  in  Bath  and  Wells,  of 
which  the  Bishop  of  Winchester  was  patron. 
He  was  made  Keeper  of  the  Wardrobe 
and  Treasurer,  and  rewarded  as  usual 
with  a  variety  of  ecclesiastical  appoint- 
ments, including  prebends  at  Lincoln, 
Salisbury,  and  Hereford,  and  the  Master- 
ship of  the  Hospital  of  St.  Cross.  By 
Papal  dispensation  he  was  allowed  to  retain 
his  benefices  three  months  after  the  lapse 
of  the  canonical  term  following  his  election 
to  the  See,  and  to  meet  the  necessary 
expenses  of  promotion  he  was  favoured 
with  an  indult  which  allowed  him  to  demand 
a  charitable  subsidy  from  every  clerk, 
regular  or  secular,  in  the  City  or  Diocese 
of  Winchester. 

He  held  the  office  of  Treasurer  from 
1345  to  1356,  and  "caring  more  for  the 
convenience  of  his  royal  master  than  for 
the  interests  of  the  community"  (Chron. 

Anglice),  he  introduced  in  1351  a  debased 
currency,  which  speedily  affected  market 
prices,  of  which  "  the  crafty  and  fraudulent 
among  the  working  classes  were  not  slow 
to  take  advantage."  But  the  shortened 
supply  of  labour,  due  to  the  ravages  of  the 
"  Black  Death,"  was  of  itself  sufficient  to 
account  for  great  fluctuations  in  the  prices 
of  commodities.  In  1356  he  became 
Chancellor,  and  held  the  Great  Seal  for  six 
years.  Shortly  before  his  death  in  1366 
the  Chapter  of  Canterbury  elected  him 
Archbishop  at  the  King's  desire,  but  he 
declined  the  office,  probably  from  the  sense 
of  failing  powers,  though  the  familiar  epi- 
gram implies  that  he  preferred  "  the  deeper 
manger  to  the  higher  rack." 

Throughout  his  career  he  seems  to  have 
retained  the  respect  and  confidence  of 
King  Edward,  who  wrote  of  him  in  the 
charter  of  1349,  which  confirmed  the  privi- 
leges of  St.  Giles'  Fair,  that  "  we  have 
known  him  to  have  been  prudently  and 
usefully  engaged  in  ceaseless  and  diligent 
work,  and  to  have  long  and  faithfully 
watched  over  our  affairs."  It  was  natural 
therefore  that  the  Bishop  should  become 
the  first  Prelate  of  the  newly  founded  Order 
of  the  Garter  ;  the  honour  passed  from  one 
to  another  of  his  successors  in  the  See. 

The  Church  of  the  Parish  from  which 
his  name  was  taken  was  rebuilt  at  his 
expense,  and  a  College  was  founded  for  a 
dean  and  twelve  clerks  in  honour  of  the 
Virgin,  St.  Catherine,  and  All  Saints,  but 
at  the  request  of  the  Black  Prince  this 
chantry  was  changed  to  one  of  the  order 
of  the  reformed  Austin  Friars  called 
"Bonhommes."  His  most  enduring  work, 
however,  was  done  at  Winchester,  where 
the  structural  changes  in  the  nave  were 
begun  by  him  with  the  transformation  from 
the  Norman  to  the  Perpendicular  style. 
He  only  lived  to  carry  out  the  rebuilding 
of  the  west  front,  and  one  bay  of  the  south 
aisle  adjoining  it,  and  two  of  the  north 
aisle,  but  he  left  directions  in  his  will  that 
some  of  his  property  should  be  devoted 
towards  the  completion  of  the  Cathedral 
nave  which  he  had  thus  begun.  In  the 



course  of  this  work  of  Edyndone  it  appears 
that  parts  of  the  building  which  extended 
forty  feet  beyond  the  present  front  must 
have  been  removed,  belonging  probably 
to  earlier  towers  or  to  some  kind  of  western 
transept  too  ruinous  to  be  preserved  (Willis, 
ArchtEological  History,  p.  66). 

Our  cathedrals  indeed  benefited  largely 
by  the  clerical  celibacy  which  was  so  long 
enforced.  The  vast  sums  accumulated  by 
wealthy  prelates  found  a  fitting  use  in  the 
fabric  funds  of  the  great  churches  with 
which  their  names  have  often  been  insepar- 
ably linked,  chantries  themselves  on  a 
colossal  scale,  within  which  nestled  the 
little  chapels  specially  so  called  like  the 
chantry  of  Edyndone  on  the  south  side  of 
the  nave  in  which  his  body  rested,  and 
where  it  was  recorded  of  him  that — 

1 '  Pervigil  Anglorum  fuit  adjutor  populorum, 
Dulcis  egenorum  pater  et  protector  eorum." 

For  among  the  great  English  ecclesiastics 
nepotism  was  rare,  and  their  bounty  open- 
handed.  One  writer  indeed  tells  us  that  he 
distributed  in  works  of  charity  most  of  his 
means  while  he  still  lived.  Yet  it  cannot 
be  said  that  he  neglected  the  interests  of 
his  kinsmen.  He  is  reported  to  have  spent 
much  on  the  repairs  of  St.  Cross  before  he 
became  bishop,  but  he  did  no  good  service 
to  the  Hospital  when  in  1350  he  collated  to 
its  Mastership  his  nephew  John,  who  treated 

it  only  as  a  source  of  profit,  carrying  off  all 
that  could  be  plundered  on  the  estates  or 
in  the  house  itself,  and  then  resigning  it 
when  stripped  and  bare.  In  1351  the 
Archdeaconry  of  Surrey  was  added  to  the 
Canonries  of  Salisbury  and  Lincoln  and 
the  Church  of  Ringwood  which  he  also 
held.  At  Farnham,  which  went  with  the 
Archdeaconry,  money  had  been  left  by  a 
preceding  rector  and  a  large  quantity  of 
stone  prepared  for  the  repairs  needed  in 
the  chancel.  Both  money  and  materials 
passed  into  the  Archdeacon's  hands,  and  in 
1368  he  was  cited  to  appear  before  the 
Court  of  Bishop  Wykeham,  who  had  seen 
himself  the  ruinous  condition  of  the  build- 
ings. Another  kinsman,  Thomas  de  Edyn- 
done, who  at  the  age  of  17  had  canonries 
at  Salisbury  and  Chichester,  was  enabled 
by  special  dispensation  to  hold  besides  a 
benefice  with  cure  of  souls. 

Amid  the  cares  of  public  office  and  the 
interests  of  cathedral  restoration,  the  Bishop 
had  found  little  time  to  attend  to  the  manor 
houses  and  other  buildings  of  the  See. 
Some  of  them  were  in  a  ruinous  state,  and 
the  dilapidations  on  them  all  were  very 
heavy  ;  his  executors  admitted  liabilities  to 
the  amount  of  ^2109,  a  sum  equivalent  to 
twenty  or  even  thirty  thousand  pounds  of 
present  value. 

Portrait  of  William  of  Wykeham 



William  of  Wykeham,  1367-1404. 
The  life  of  William  of  Wykeham  has 
been  so  fully  dealt  with  of  late  years  in 
writings  familiar  to  so  many  readers  that  it 
may  be  enough  to  give  here  a  brief 
summary  of  the  facts  of  his  career,  with 
some  estimate  of  the  more  marked  features 
of  his  character,  as  it  is  impossible  to  treat 
the  subject  adequately  within  the  limits  of 
this  series. 

Known  by  the  birthplace  in  Hampshire 
whose  name  he  bore  rather  than  by  that  of 
his  father,  who  was  a  yeoman,  he  owed  his 
early  education  near  home  and  at  Win- 
chester, which  his  parents  were  too  poor  to 
give  him,  to  the  help  of  neighbouring 
landowners,  whose  favour  he  gratefully 
remembered  in  his  later  years.  From  work 
as  notary  (tabellid)  in  the  office  of  the 
Constable  of  Winchester  Castle  he  passed 
into  the  royal  service,  and  was  engaged  for 
some  time  as  a  king's  clerk  in  duties  not 
specially  described  till  in  May,  1356,  he 
was  made  overseer  of  building  works  on 
certain  manors,  and  in  October  at  Windsor 
Castle.  In  1359  he  became  chief  warden 
and  overseer  of  other  royal  castles,  parks, 
and  manors,  with  large  powers  to  provide 
the  necessary  labour  and  materials.  He 
had  the  charge  also  of  Old  Windsor 
Forest  and  the  Forest  on  this  side  Trent, 
and  was  engaged  in  1361  at  Queenborough 
Castle.  In  1364  he  became  Keeper  of  the 
Privy  Seal,  and  we  now  begin  to  hear  of 
his  paramount  influence  with  King  Edward, 
in  consequence  of  which  he  was  nominated 
Bishop  of  Winchester  in  1366  and  Chan- 
cellor in  the  following  year. 

During  this  period  he  had  been  a  pluralist 
to  an  astonishing  extent.  Nearly  all,  how- 
ever, of  his  benefices  consisted  of  cathedral 
prebends  and  the  like  without  cure  of  souls, 
and  these  would  have  otherwise  been  held 
for  the  most  part  by  non-residents  in  any 
case,  and  many  of  them  by  foreign 
ecclesiastics,  who  had  done  little  to  deserve 
them  here.  But  his  first  preferment  in 
1349  was  to  a  Rectory,  when  he  was  only 
in  minor  Orders  ;  his  second,  eight  years 
afterwards,  was  to  another,  the  patronage 

of  which  was  matter  of  dispute  between  the 
King  and  Pope,  and  his  temporary  accept- 
ance of  it  may  have  brought  upon  him  the 
displeasure  of  the  Papal  Court.  Possibly 
this  found  expression  in  successive  Bulls. 
One  of  these  directed  a  bishop  to  examine 
him  and  test  his  fitness  for  a  prebend  lately 
given  him  ;  a  second  was  levelled  against 
pluralism  and  therefore  indirectly  against 
Wykeham  ;  a  third  made  him  only 
administrator  of  the  see  to  which  he  was 
elected,  and  the  last  half  a  year  later  con- 
ferred the  bishoprick  as  by  provision  and 
not  by  consent  merely. 

The     period    of    Wykeham's     political 
activity  was   one   of  national   humiliation 
and  disorder.     It  cannot  be  said  that  he 
showed  in  it  any  special  powers  of  states- 
manship.    The  clerical  Ministry  of  which 
he  was   the   head   left    the    kingdom    ill- 
prepared  for  the  disasters   of  the  war  in 
France ;   the  lay  Ministry  which  took  its 
place  in  1371  was  even  less  competent,  and 
sanctioned    scandalous    peculation.       But 
Wykeham   was    harsh    and   hasty  in   the 
summary  proceedings  taken  in  1376  against 
Lord  Latimer,  the  chief  offender,  and  soon 
suffered  in  his  turn.    John  of  Gaunt,  once 
his  friend,  became  his  bitter  enemy,  and 
with  such  help  weighty  charges  of  abuse  of 
official  power  were  summarily  pressed  as 
against   Latimer ;    he  was  condemned  to 
pay  an  enormous  fine,  the  temporalities  of 
the  See  were  confiscated,  and  himself  for- 
bidden to  be  within  twenty  miles  of  Court. 
Moving  from   place  to  place  he  found  a 
shelter    in    the    Abbeys    of    Merton    and 
Waverley.     The  storm  soon  passed  over. 
The  bishops  declined  to  act  in  Convocation 
without  his  presence  there,  and  his  estates 
were  then  restored  to  him.     It  was  mere 
idle  gossip,  probably,  which  one  chronicler 
recorded    (Chron.  Angl.\   that    he    made 
"friends  of  the  mammon  of  unrighteous- 
ness "  and  won  the  favouring  influence  of 
Alice  Perrers,  the    King's  mistress,  by  a 
heavy  bribe.     The  King  was  already  at  the 
point  of  death,  and  on  July  31,  1377,  the 
new   ruler  granted   him   full   pardon,  and 
formally  declared  him  "  wholly  innocent  of 



all  the  charges  brought  against  him."  He 
took  little  part  in  politics  thenceforth  until 
he  became  Chancellor  again  in  1389,  an 
office  which  he  resigned  after  two  years, 
during  which  a  stringent  Statute  against 
Provisors  was  enacted,  and  the  Privy 
Council,  made  by  his  policy  of  conciliation 
to  represent  all  the  jarring  sections  of  the 
greater  nobles,  was  armed  with  ampler 
powers  to  secure  a  more  constitutional  rule. 

Whether  in  or  out  of  office  in  the  service 
of  the  State  he  kept  steadily  in  view  his 
episcopal  duties  and  the  interests  of  his 
See.  His  Register  amply  illustrates  his 
business-like  precision  and  characteristic 
impatience  of  abuses.  The  Hospital  of 
St.  Cross  had  been  plundered,  and  its 
Mastership  had  been  treated  as  a  lucrative 
sinecure,  but  one  of  his  first  cares  was  to 
call  sharply  to  account  the  Archdeacon  of 
Surrey,  and  others  through  whose  hands  it 
had  passed.  He  was  met  with  evasions 
and  appeals  to  the  Papal  Court,  but  he 
fought  the  case  steadily  for  seven  years 
till  his  object  was  secured.  The  enthusiasm 
of  the  monastic  ideal  had  spent  its  force, 
and  many  of  the  smaller  convents  were 
now  lamentable  failures  ;  Wykeham  did 
what  he  could  to  arrest  decay  by  formal 
visitations,  monitions,  and  measures  of 
reform,  as  at  St.  Mary  Overy,  Christ 
Church  Twynham,  Selborne,  Hamble,  and 
Southwick.  He  tempered  indeed  severity 
with  kindly  acts  even  in  flagrant  cases,  as 
when  he  helped  to  pay  the  Canon's  debts 
at  Selborne.  But  he  showed  no  weakness 
when  episcopal  rights  were  challenged  and 
firmly  checked  encroachments  at  St. 
Swithun's,  where  in  1398  a  formal  agree- 
ment was  executed  in  the  Chapter  House 
pursuant  on  an  award  of  the  Archbishop. 
He  frequently  interposed  to  protect  the 
interests  of  parish  churches  from  the  greed 
of  the  monks  who  had  appropriated  the 
rectorial  tithes,  neglected  the  repairs  of  the 
chancels,  and  drawn  away  worshippers 
with  their  offerings  from  parochial  services 
to  the  more  imposing  ceremonies  in  the 
convent  chapels.  The  parishioners  in  their 
turn  had  to  be  admonished  not  to  withhold 

their  contributions  to  repairs  and  bells,  not 
to  carry  off  the  materials  or  encroach  upon 
the  sites  of  disused  churches,  where  the 
ravages  of  the  Plague  had  swept  the  wor- 
shippers away. 

Excellent  as  was  the  Bishop's  activity  in 
pastoral  care,  his  enduring  fame  was  due 
to  the  services  he  rendered  to  interests  of 
other  kinds.  To  education  of  course  first 
and  foremost.  Himself  not  a  finished 
scholar,  trained  in  Academic  learning,  he 
would  make  splendid  provision  for  the  class 
from  which  he  sprung,  and  help  to  supply 
a  learned  clergy  sorely  needed  after  the 
Visitations  of  the  Black  Death.  Soon  after 
he  became  bishop  he  took  steps  to  buy 
land  in  Oxford  for  his  intended  college 
there ;  on  September  ist,  1373,  he  made 
a  contract  for  ten  years  with  a  master  to 
teach  the  boys  whom  he  maintained  at 
Winchester,  and  at  the  time  of  his  disgrace 
in  1376  it  was  said  that  seventy  scholars 
were  sent  back  to  their  homes  awhile.  In 
1379  he  executed  the  Charter  of  Foundation 
of  his  College  in  Oxford  for  a  warden  and 
seventy  scholars,  and  in  1382  the  Founda- 
tion deed  of  a  College  for  seventy  poor 
scholars  at  Winchester,  the  two  "  issuing 
from  one  stem  and  differing  not  in  substance 
to  be  called  by  one  name  Sainte  Marie 
College  of  Wynchester."  Though  its 
arrangements  were  in  part  borrowed  from 
the  Statutes  of  Merton  College,  and  the 
combined  provision  for  boys  and  riper 
scholars  was  not  unknown  elsewhere,  the 
union  in  one  scheme  of  two  corporations, 
independent  though  in  close  and  intimate 
relation,  and  on  a  grander  scale  than  had 
been  carried  out  effectively  before,  con- 
stituted its  originality  and  its  enduring 
value.  Meant  to  be  seminaries  for  the 
clergy,  and  to  be  recruited  from  the  least 
wealthy  of  the  middle  class,  not  from  the 
lowest  social  strata,  Winchester  College, 
and  other  great  schools  founded  on  the 
same  lines,  have  had  a  potent  influence  on 
the  temper  and  traditions  of  the  laity  of 
England.  The  few  commoners  of  higher 
rank  or  fortune,  doubtfully  admitted  at  the 
first  on  the  condition  that  they  should  be 



ho  charge  on  the  endowments  of  the  school, 
expanded  into  ampler  numbers,  and  helped 
largely  to  determine  in  later  days  the  spirit 
of  Public  School  life  throughout  the  country. 
Though  reverence  for  the  conventional 
ideal  was  fast  fading  the  methods  of  the 
common  life  of  the  secular  clerks  in  school 
and  university  were  still  somewhat  monastic 
in  their  outer  form  ;  the  endowments  even 
were  in  part  provided  from  the  estates  of 
alien  priories,  but  for  these  the  Founder 
paid  a  fair  price  after  the  act  of  disendow- 
ment  was  completed. 

They  who  know  well  the  Cathedral  of 
Winchester  and  are  familiar  with  its  history 
see  the  monument  of  Wykeham  not  merely 
in  the  chantry  which  bears  his  name,  but 
in  the  stately  nave  which  his  munificence 
transformed.  The  work  of  reconstruction 
was  indeed  begun,  and  the  architectural 
style  determined  by  Edyndone,  but  carried 
by  him  no  further  than  the  West  Front  and 
some  parts  of  the  adjoining  walls.  In  1371 
Wykeham  issued  a  monition  to  unknown 
persons  who  were  removing  the  hewn 
stones  and  materials  collected  there,  and 
this  points  to  operations  to  be  long  sus- 
pended. He  bought  quarries  in  the  Isle  of 
Wight,  and  appealed  to  the  heads  of  the 
religious  houses  and  the  secular  clergy  to 
help  him  to  find  workmen  and  means  of 
transport.  These  however  seem  to  have 
been  employed  on  the  repairs  of  his 
manorial  buildings,  which  he  specified  in 
his  appeal ;  the  erection  of  his  two  colleges 
engaged  his  thoughts,  and  other  causes 
intervened,  and  we  do  not  hear  of  any 
further  steps  till  his  Visitation  of  St. 
Swithun's  in  1393,  when  the  structural 
defects  of  the  Cathedral  were  found  to  be 
very  pressing,  and  the  Prior  and  Convent 
were  separately  charged  with  contributions 
to  the  repairs  for  seven  years.  The  next 
year,  however,  the  Bishop  took  the  whole 
in  hand  himself,  except  the  scaffolding  and 
the  old  materials  which  with  lime  and  sand 
were  to  be  provided  by  the  convent. 

Not  only  was  the  Norman  core  of  rubble 
work  in  the  piers  and  walls  left  undisturbed, 
but  in  the  piers  themselves,  after  the  arches 

between  them  and  in  the  triforium  were 
removed,  the  shaped  masonry  was  at  first 
left  in  its  place,  and  new  perpendicular 
mouldings  cut  upon  the  face  of  the  Norman 
stones.  This  method  was  abandoned  after 
eight  of  the  piers  on  the  south  side  had 
been  so  treated,  and  in  the  rest  the  facing 
of  hewn  masonry  was  removed  and  replaced 
in  the  new  style  (Willis,  Arch.  Hist.  p.  68). 
The  work  was  far  from  being  finished  in 
his  lifetime,  and  in  his  will  he  instructed 
his  executors  to  have  it  carried  on.  From 
the  directions  given  it  appears  that  the 
Clerestory  wall  on  the  north  side  and  the 
glazing  of  the  windows  remained  still  to 
complete  the  building. 

The  development  of  the  architectural 
style  may  be  paralleled  elsewhere,  and  was 
part  of  the  movement  of  the  age  ;  that  the 
designing  power  and  structural  skill  dis- 
played in  it,  as  in  other  works  with  which 
Wykeham  was  connected,  were  actually 
his  own,  admits  neither  of  proof  nor  of  dis- 
proof. Contemporary  evidence  says  nothing 
of  him  as  a  rising  architect  when  he  was 
taken  into  the  king's  service,  speaks  only  of 
notarial  duties,  and  the  post  of  "overseer  "of 
castles  to  which  he  was  appointed  was  filled 
in  other  cases  by  men  of  clerkly  and 
financial  skill  rather  than  of  structural 
powers.  But  in  any  case  there  is  no  reason 
to  question  the  taste  and  insight  which 
could  approve  of  designs  suggested  to  him, 
or  the  large-minded  munificence  which 
could  take  in  hand  at  an  advanced  age 
such  a  great  work  of  reconstruction. 

In  Wykeham  then  we  see  the  mediaeval 
bishop  at  his  best ;  not  rising  indeed  above 
the  conventional  standard  of  his  age  as 
regards  the  accumulation  of  pluralities, 
licences  of  nonresidence  for  study  granted 
to  immature  incumbents,  and  appropriations 
of  churches  to  the  prejudice  of  the  parishes 
concerned,  but  intolerant  of  recognized 
abuses,  and  intent  to  do  his  own  work 
thoroughly  and  see  that  others  did  the  like, 
striving  to  make  the  best  of  the  men  and 
manners  of  his  time  by  a  policy  of  con- 
ciliation and  quiet  constitutional  progress, 
and  therefore  with  scant  sympathy  for  the 



visions  of  reformers  such  as  Wyclif,  whose 
destructive  criticism  and  passionate  invec- 
tives must  have  shocked  his  sober  judgment. 
With  no  striking  powers  as  statesman, 

orator,  or  divine,  he  left  his  enduring  mark 
on  his  own  and  future  ages,  and  with  far- 
seeing  bounty  did  a  noble  work  for  Church 
and  State. 


Henry  Beaufort,  1404—1447. 

The  See  of  Winchester  was  filled,  after 
the  death  of  Wykeham,  by  a  strong  man, 
who  for  nearly  half  a  century  took  a  leading 
part  in  the  concerns  of  Church  and  State. 
Called  after  a  castle  in  Anjou  where  he  was 
born,  Henry  Beaufort  was  the  second  son 
of  John  of  Gaunt  and  Catharine  Swynford, 
and  after  the  marriage  of  his  parents  in 
1396  he  with  his  brothers  was  declared 
legitimate  by  a  patent  of  Richard  II,  which 
was  confirmed  by  Parliament.  Royal 
bounty  showered  upon  him  ecclesiastical 
preferments  at  a  very  early  age,  so  much 
so  that  we  find  in  the  Papal  Regesta  an 
indult  granted  him  in  April  1397  to  farm 
for  ten  years  his  deanery  of  Wells  with  the 
annexed  prebend  and  with  other  benefices 
which  he  had  held  since  1389,  while  he 
might  be  studying  at  Oxford  or  elsewhere. 
The  next  year  however  the  raw  student 
became  Bishop  of  Lincoln  by  Papal  pro- 
vision, displacing  a  bishop-elect  who  had 
incurred  the  King's  displeasure,  and  was 
removed  to  Lichfield  by  an  arrangement 
with  the  Pope,  common  in  those  days  when 
the  Crown,  to  gratify  a  passing  whim, 
lightly  disregarded  the  repeated  Statutes  of 
Provisors.  While  at  Lincoln  the  young 
bishop  was  called  upon  to  arbitrate  in  a  dis- 
pute between  the  Dean  and  Canons,  and 
to  turn  to  account  his  studies  in  Canon 
law  at  Aachen  by  pronouncing  one  of  the 
awards  (laudd)  which  give  importance  to 
the  constitutional  history  of  that  Chapter. 

In  1403  Beaufort  became  Chancellor,  but 
resigned  the  office  the  next  year  when  he 
was  translated  to  the  See  of  Winchester. 
Then  began  the  long  political  career  in 
which  he  was  a  prominent  figure  in  the 
Court  and  Council  Chamber,  and  even  on 
the  field  of  battle,  in  the  reigns  of  three 
Henries  in  succession.  For  a  time  under 
the  first  of  these  he  was  confronted  by  the 
paramount  influence  of  Arundel,  and  a 
clause,  inserted  informally  in  a  royal  patent, 
barred  any  claim  on  his  part  to  succession 
to  the  throne.  When  Henry's  health  and 
energy  declined,  and  the  Prince  of  Wales 
ruled,  as  it  seems,  practically  in  his  father's 

name,  Beaufort  was  prominent  among  the 
advisers  of  the  Prince,  in  whose  favour  the 
King's  resignation  was  discussed.  But 
the  displeasure  of  the  monarch  during  a 
short  interval  of  returning  strength  forced 
Beaufort  and  his  party  to  retire  awhile  from 
Court.  The  accession  of  Henry  V  in  1413 
soon  brought  him  into  power  again. 

As  Chancellor  all  the  weight  of  his 
influence  was  thrown  in  favour  of  two 
movements,  in  which  what  seemed  at  the 
time  complete  success  left  a  fatal  heritage 
of  difficulties  in  Church  and  State.  The 
first  was  the  prosecution  of  the  Lollards, 
whose  passionate  defiance  of  authority  was 
not  likely  to  find  favour  in  his  eyes,  when 
he  sat  as  assessor  with  the  Archbishop  at 
the  trial  of  Oldcastle,  or  had  to  deal  with 
the  subject  in  his  sermon  at  the  opening  of 
Parliament  in  1414.  The  second  was  the 
war  with  France  after  his  failure  as 
ambassador  to  arrange  the  terms  of  peace. 

It  has  been  often  said  that  the  leading 
ecclesiastics  encouraged  the  warlike 
ambition  of  their  King  in  order  to  divert 
his  thoughts  from  the  proposed  attack 
upon  the  great  possessions  of  the  Church. 
Godwyn  (de  praesulibus)  pushes  this  un- 
warranted suspicion  further  still  when  he 
implies  that  Beaufort's  readiness  to  lend 
his  money  for  the  expenses  of  the  war  was 
due  to  the  same  fear.  It  was  on  the  con- 
trary his  practice  frequently  repeated  in  the 
course  of  his  career  under  very  varying 
conditions.  Nor  is  it  quite  consistent  with 
the  parsimony  which  the  same  writer 
imputes  to  him  (frugi  ne  dicam  deparcus). 

Beaufort's  influence  was  felt  soon  after- 
wards in  another  scene.  The  Council  of 
Constance  had  been  spending  weary  years  of 
ineffectual  debate  on  the  reforms  for  which 
Christendom  was  longing,  but  which  would 
be  fatal  to  the  interests  of  Cardinals  and 
high  officials  of  the  Papal  Court.  Their 
resistance  and  intrigues  now  stopped  the 
way  with  the  plea  that  the  Church  whose 
Pope  had  been  deposed  must  find  a  head 
again  and  then  proceed  to  action.  King 
Henry,  weary  of  delay,  came  round  to  this 
view  ;  Beaufort,  starting  under  cover  of  a 



pilgrimage,  found  himself  at  Constance, 
and  interposed  to  such  effect  that  difficulties 
were  smoothed  away  and  the  electors  made 
their  choice,  after  which  all  prospects  of 
reform  were  swept  away  for  a  century  at 

The  new  Pope,  Martin  V,  grateful  for 
the  timely  help  from  England,  offered  a 
Cardinal's  hat  to  Beaufort,  which  he  was 
obliged  however  to  decline,  for  Archbishop 
Chichele  was  naturally  jealous  of  the  para- 
mount influence  of  a  Cardinal  legate,  and 
the  King  his  nephew  refused  to  have  a 
papal  representative  so  near  his  throne. 

Henry  at  his  death  in  1422  left  the 
guardianship  of  his  infant  son  to  Beaufort, 
on  whom  for  many  years  rested  much  of 
the  burden  of  government,  grievously 
embarassed  by  the  factious  rivalry  of 
Gloucester,  the  so-called  "good  duke 
Humphry  "  of  the  populace  of  London,  who 
thwarted  and  maligned  him  at  the  council 
board,  when  he  was  not  himself  busy  on 
the  Continent  with  marriage  schemes  which 
estranged  the  best  allies  of  England.  The 
support  of  Burgundy  in  the  French  wars 
required  concessions  to  the  Flemings  which 
stirred  the  jealousy  of  London  merchants, 
and  made  Beaufort's  rule  unpopular. 
Gloucester  fanned  the  flame  of  discontent, 
and  raked  up  old  charges  of  disloyalty  in 
the  last  years  of  Henry  IV.  Bedford  had 
to  be  recalled  in  1425  from  the  ill-starred 
wars  in  France  to  arbitrate  between  the 
rivals  at  the  request  of  lords  and  commons. 
By  the  terms  of  a  hollow  peace  thus  brought 
about  Beaufort's  character  was  cleared,  but 
his  former  ascendancy  was  not  regained. 
He  resigned  the  great  Seal,  and  turned  his 
thoughts  awhile  elsewhere. 

The  flames  that  were  lighted  at  the 
funeral  pyre  of  Huss  at  Constance  were 
blazing  fiercely  in  Bohemia,  where  the  raw 
levies  of  the  zealots  were  sweeping  all 
before  them.  The  Pope  called  for  a  crusade 
against  the  Hussites,  and  Beaufort,  accept- 
ing the  Cardinal's  hat  now  offered  him 
again,  was  as  eager  to  crush  heresy  on  the 
battle-field  abroad  as  in  courts  of  law  at 
home.  But  his  courage  availed  him  little  to 

arrest  the  ignominious  rout  of  the  German 
host  at  Tachau,  which  he  vainly  tried  to 
rally  by  example,  and  failing  quitted  them 
in  scorn.  He  must  have  felt  on  his  return 
that  his  acceptance  of  the  Cardinalate  had 
been  a  grave  mistake,  which  prejudiced  his 
hopes  of  ascendancy  at  home,  especially  as 
he  insisted  on  retaining  possession  of  his 
See.  The  Duke  of  Gloucester  again  and 
again  protested  against  this,  and  refused  to 
recognise  his  legatine  commission.  The 
Council,  stirred  by  this  persistent  rival, 
requested  him  not  to  officiate  as  prelate  of 
the  Garter  on  St.  George's  day.  Nor  did 
the  Pope  gain  much  from  the  appointment, 
for  the  troops  raised  for  the  Crusade  had  to 
be  used  in  France  where  the  English  forces 
were  hard  pressed,  and  the  death  of  Martin 
in  1431  put  an  end  to  the  legatine  com- 
mission altogether,  and  to  Beaufort's  part 
in  the  struggle  in  Bohemia. 

Gloucester's  animosity  meantime  was  un- 
abated. He  tried  to  exclude  him  from  the 
Council  as  an  alien  by  office,  and  therefore 
of  questionable  loyalty  at  home,  but  his 
right  to  be  present  there  was  confirmed, 
save  when  the  Papal  claims  might  be  dis- 
cussed. Then  the  attack  was  renewed  on 
the  fresh  ground  that  he  bought  at  Rome 
exemption  for  himself  and  his  See  from  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  Archbishop  of  Canter- 
bury. This  charge  was  pressed  in  Council 
with  such  support  from  unfriendly  bishops 
that  writs  of  Praemunire  were  sealed  there 
against  him,  and  his  jewels  were  seized  at 
Sandwich.  But  a  petition  from  the 
Commons  was  presented  in  his  favour  and 
a  Statute  passed  which  screened  him  from 
all  penalties  connected  with  the  exercise  of 
legatine  authority  or  the  use  of  papal  bulls. 

Thwarted  and  maligned  in  England,  he 
seems  to  have  thought  of  renewed  activity 
abroad.  The  Council  of  Basel  was  holding 
its  long  and  ineffectual  debates,  and  he 
obtained  leave  in  1433  to  go  to  it  and  take 
^20,000  with  him  for  some  purpose  not 
defined.  The  plan  was  changed,  however, 
and  the  next  year  he  proposed  to  go  on 
pilgrimage,  again  with  a  large  sum  of 
money,  but  with  much  secrecy  as  to  the 



time  and  starting  place,  which  it  would  be 
dangerous  to  disclose.  This  points  appar- 
ently to  some  mysterious  design,  possibly 
to  influence  the  Council  on  the  election  of 
a  future  Pope.  In  any  case  suspicions 
were  aroused,  for  three  or  four  years  later 
the  Privy  Council  recommended  the  King 
not  to  let  him  go  to  Rome  or  Basel,  though 
they  desired  to  grant  him  a  full  pardon  for 
"all  offences  committed  by  him  from  the 
beginning  of  the  world." 

Meantime  Bedford  had  died  in  France 
in  1435,  and  the  continued  struggle  there 
was  well-nigh  hopeless.  The  wise  policy 
was  to  strive  for  an  honourable  peace. 
Beaufort  was  repeatedly  engaged  in  nego- 
tiations for  this  end,  and  to  secure  it  he 
consented  to  the  release  of  the  Duke  of 
Orleans,  which  was  the  occasion  of  another 
vehement  attack  from  Gloucester.  After 
the  failure,  however,  to  arrange  the  terms 
of  peace  he  desired  to  prosecute  the  war 
with  vigour,  and  lent  his  money  freely  for 
the  equipment  of  the  necessary  forces.  His 
loans  to  the  Crown,  indeed,  spread  over 
many  years,  were  of  very  large  amount, 
and  it  is  surprising  that  he  had  so  much  to 
offer.  But  the  income  of  his  See  was 
ample,  and  he  held  offices  of  State,  as  well 
as  the  administration  of  the  family  estates 
of  the  house  of  Lancaster,  and  he  was 
clearly  an  expert  financier  who  could  turn 
his  capital  to  good  account.  He  fixed 
himself  the  securities  which  he  required 
for  his  loans,  but  when  economy  was  sorely 
needed  in  1434  he  resigned  his  own  salary 
as  Councillor  to  set  a  good  example,  and  at 
the  King's  marriage  gave  the  ruby  with 
which  the  wedding  ring  was  made.  If  he 
amassed  wealth  it  was  in  no  sordid  spirit ; 
he  husbanded  his  resources  skilfully,  and 
spent  them  freely  on  occasion. 

The  last  years  of  a  busy  life  were  spent 
at  Wolvesey,  when  he  had  leisure,  seldom 
found  before,  to  devote  himself  entirely  to 
the  interests  of  his  diocese,  to  superintend 

the  enlargement  of  the  Foundation  of  St. 
Cross — where  the  stately  tower  with  Beau- 
fort's kneeling  statue  dates  from  his  time — 
by  the  addition  of  the  Brethren  of  Noble 
Poverty,  drawn  from  a  social  class  distinct 
from  that  of  ordinary  almsmen.  There  he 
could  watch  the  building  works  of  the 
Cathedral,  which  Wykeham  had  left  un- 
finished, and  have  his  device  and  motto 
carved  among  the  sculpture  to  record  his 
bounty,  while  the  noble  chantry  was  erected 
where  his  bones  were  soon  to  rest. 

Early  frailties  would  have  made  it  hard 
to  answer  in  his  case  with  confidence  the 
question  which  was  sent  by  Papal  order  to 
the  bishops  when  candidates  with  a  stain 
upon  their  birth  sought  Holy  Orders,  when 
it  was  asked  if  they  had  shunned  their 
father's  fault  (si  paternae  imitator  incon- 
tinentiae),  but  at  least  there  is  no  such  im- 
putation on  his  life  as  an  ecclesiastic. 
The  "black  despair"  of  his  last  moments, 
painted  so  vividly  by  Shakespere,  is 
probably  as  little  true  to  facts  as  the 
name  popular  fancy  gave  to  Gloucester. 
The  scene  before  his  death,  as  described 
by  an  eye-witness,  is  one  of  stately  calm. 
The  Requiem  Mass,  chaunted  at  his  bed- 
side by  the  Prior  of  St.  Swithun's,  the 
legacies  provided  for  his  servants,  the 
bounty  to  his  poorer  tenants  quietly  re- 
viewed, the  last  directions  given  with 
business-like  precision — these  present  quite 
a  different  picture,  which  happily  is  well 

Worldly,  ambitious,  masterful  he  doubt- 
less was ;  more  at  home  in  statecraft  and 
finance  than  spiritual  questions  ;  but  he 
was  loyal  to  what  he  thought  the  interests 
of  the  Church  ;  he  had  been  honest,  clean- 
handed, patriotic,  in  his  public  life,  and 
though  the  outlook  for  his  country  might 
be  somewhat  dark  in  spite  of  his  best 
efforts,  yet  he  had  probably  no  reason, 
according  to  his  lights,  for  any  special 
weight  upon  his  conscience. 



William  of  Waynflete,  1447—1486. 

The  very  day  of  Beaufort's  death  King 
Henry  desired  the  monks  of  St.  Swithun's 
to  elect  a  successor  of  a  very  different  type, 
who  was  a  scholar  first,  and  a  divine  turned 
perforce  into  a  statesman,  but  with  no  great 
natural  gifts  or  inclination  for  a  political 
career.  William  the  son  of  Richard  Patten, 
otherwise  called  Barbour,  was  born  at 
Waynflete  in  Lincolnshire,  afterwhich  parish 
he  was  generally  called,  though  when 
ordained  as  acolyte  he  bore  the  second  of 
his  father's  names.  His  mother  was  a 
daughter  of  Sir  William  Brereton,  a  land- 
owner of  Cheshire.  Educated  at  St.  Mary's, 
Winchester,  and  possibly  a  Fellow  of  New 
College  (Leland),  he  is  first  found  in 
clerical  work  at  Spalding,  in  connection 
with  its  Benedictine  Priory  ;  thence  he 
transferred  himself  to  Winchester,  where 
he  was  made  Master  of  the  School  in  1429 
by  the  Warden  and  Fellows,  and  appointed 
by  Beaufort  to  the  Headship  of  the  Hospital 
of  St.  Mary  Magdalen.  Named  in  1441  by 
royal  favour  Fellow  of  Eton  in  the  charter 
of  foundation  he  became  Provost  three 
years  later,  gaining  there  the  respect  and 
confidence  of  Henry  who  watched  with 
tender  solicitude  the  progress  of  the  great 
school  which  he  had  founded  and  com- 
mended its  Provost  to  the  Chapter  at 
Winchester  as  a  "notable  clerc  and  a 
substancial  personne."  He  was  endeared 
to  the  good  and  gentle  king,  we  read,  not 
so  much  by  his  scholarly  attainments  as  by 
moral  graces  like  his  own.  The  intimate 
relation  remained  undisturbed  during  the 
lifetime  of  Henry,  who  ordained  even  that 
both  his  colleges  should  yearly  celebrate 
solemn  exequies  for  the  soul  of  Waynflete 
after  his  decease. 

The  prominence  of  his  great  See,  filled 
as  it  had  often  been  by  leading  statesmen, 
brought  with  it  many  calls  to  public 
service,  and  in  that  age  of  social  strife,  to 
many  posts  of  danger.  There  was  soon  such 
risk  when  in  1450  the  insurgents  under 
Jack  Cade  marched  on  London,  and  the 
Bishop  was  sent  with  others  from  the 
Council  in  the  Tower  to  treat  with  them  at 

Southwark,  and  to  promise  a  free  pardon 
to  all  who  would  retire  to  their  homes. 
But  a  few  months  later  the  rigour  of  the 
law  was  put  in  force  against  the  rioters 
who  were  still  in  arms,  and  his  name 
appeared  on  the  Commission,  with  the 
natural  result  of  the  odium  attaching  to  the 
office.  Discontent  was  in  the  air,  and  at 
Winchester  it  found  expression  in  violent 
protests  against  the  dues  charged  by  his 
agents  at  St.  Giles'  Fair,  a  long-standing 
grievance  of  the  citizens,  who  resented  the 
episcopal  monopoly  of  trade.  Submission 
followed  in  due  course,  but  probably  with 
no  good  grace.  A  year  later  there  were 
threats  of  danger,  probably  from  Yorkist 
sources,  to  meet  which  he  appealed  from 
the  "  peynted  chambre  "  of  his  manor  house 
at  Southwark,  both  to  the  Pope  and  to  the 
Primate  for  protection  against  suits  in 
Spiritual  Courts  which  might  deprive  him 
of  his  see.  No  further  light  is  thrown  how- 
ever on  the  grounds  of  the  attack  expected. 

Soon  afterwards  he  issued  a  commission 
for  the  Visitation  of  his  diocese,  being 
detained  himself  by  "arduous  and  un- 
expected business."  The  petition  of  the 
Commons  for  the  removal  of  Somerset  and 
the  king's  incompetent  councillors  was 
supported  by  Richard,  duke  of  York,  with 
an  army  in  the  field.  Waynflete  was  sent 
with  others  to  discuss  a  policy  of  recon- 
ciliation. That  happily  effected  he  took 
a  prominent  part  in  the  events  which  fol- 
lowed, attending  regularly  the  "  sad  and 
wise  Council"  for  which  the  Commons 
pleaded,  and  steadily  supporting  York  as 
the  King's  lieutenant  in  Parliament  and 
afterwards  Protector  of  the  Realm  during 
Henry's  helpless  imbecility.  He  baptized 
the  infant  prince,  visited  the  poor  sufferer 
in  his  helpless  gloom  from  which  he  failed 
to  move  him,  and  when  the  cloud  lifted  in 
1455  :  "Wept  for  joy  to  find  him  clear- 
headed as  he  had  ever  been." 

The  King's  recovery  renewed  the  mis- 
chievious  influence  of  the  Queen,  broken 
for  a  while  by  the  fall  of  her  favourites  at 
St.  Albans,  and  by  a  second  Protectorate 
of  York.  During  this  breathing  time  of 



peace  while  Lancastrians  and  Yorkists 
acted  for  a  while  together  in  the  service  of 
the  Crown  Waynflete  received  the  Great 
Seal  as  the  leader  of  a  ministry  of  coalition. 

Little  occurred  of  moment  during  the 
first  part  of  his  term  of  office  except  the 
trial  of  Reginald  Pecock,  Bishop  of  Chiches- 
ter,  to  crush  whom  a  timid  orthodoxy  joined 
hands  with  party  rancour.  The  one  cham- 
pion of  the  Church  who  examined  the 
vagaries  of  the  Lollards  with  dispassionate 
appeal  to  history  and  reason  met  with  scant 
justice  from  the  judges  who  had  eyes  only 
for  the  presumption  and  heresy  that  might 
be  read  by  those  who  wished  to  find  them 
in  the  questionable  phrases  which  he  used 
at  times.  There  is  no  doubt  that  Waynflete 
was  sincere  in  the  narrow  and  unsym- 
pathetic treatment  of  his  brother  bishop, 
and  it  was  no  hasty  judgment,  for  three 
years  later  he  repeated  it  when  the  Statutes 
of  King's  College,  Cambridge,  were  re- 
modelled, and  warnings  against  Pecock's 
tenets  were  inserted. 

Statesmanship  could  do  little  in  that 
period  of  frantic  faction,  and  prudent  as  he 
was,  "  Warilie  wielding  the  weight  of  his 
office"  (Holinshed)  he  tried  in  vain  to 
restore  well-being  to  a  country  suffering 
from  a  bankrupt  exchequer,  general  dis- 
content, and  great  nobles  ready  to  fly  at 
each  other's  throats.  His  royal  master  like 
himself  was  helpless,  and  is  said  to  have 
detained  him  sometimes  from  the  council 
chamber  to  pray  with  him  for  better  times; 
he  witnessed  indeed  gladly  a  passing  mood 
of  reconciliation  when  the  jarring  factions 
walked  hand-in-hand  in  solemn  procession 
to  St.  Paul's  ;  but  before  long  he  saw  York 
driven  into  exile,  and  returning  to  avenge 
his  wrongs,  and  then  despairing  of  the 
crisis  he  resigned  his  office  three  days 
before  the  rout  of  the  Queen's  forces  at 
Northampton  in  1460. 

Victory  passed  from  side  to  side  in  rapid 
succession  at  the  battles  of  Wakefield  and 
of  Towton,  and  the  accession  of  Edward 
IV  naturally  exposed  the  Bishop  to  the 
resentment  of  Yorkist  leaders.  They 
thought  perhaps  of  penal  measures,  and  he 

is  said  to  have  "  fled  for  fere  into  secrete 
corners"  till  the  storm  might  pass.  But  he 
was  well  known  for  the  peaceful  temper 
(pads  zelator)  on  which  Henry  laid  stress 
in  a  generous  letter  written  from  captivity 
to  Pope  Pius  II  in  his  behalf,  and  he  was 
"restored  to  his  goodes  and  the  king's 
favour"  (Leland).  An  incident  reported  in 
the  Rolls  of  Parliament  at  this  time  (1461) 
will  serve  to  illustrate  the  popular  excite- 
ment and  the  extent  to  which  respect  for 
episcopal  authority  was  lowered.  When 
Edward  IV  was  travelling  on  royal  pro- 
gress the  tenants  of  East  Meon,  where  the 
old  hall  of  the  Manor  Courts  still  stands, 
crowded  round  him  to  complain  of  the 
customary  dues  and  services  which  their 
lord  the  Bishop  exacted  of  them  through 
his  bailiff  as  the  condition  of  their  tenure. 
They  appear  to  have  stopped  him  on  his 
way  as  he  was  attempting  to  escape,  and 
to  have  used  some  violence  for  which  their 
leaders  were  arrested.  The  case  was 
brought  before  the  House  of  Lords,  and 
judgment  given  in  the  Bishop's  favour. 
The  stringency  of  the  manorial  rights  had 
been  so  much  relaxed  since  the  Black 
Death  that  it  would  be  of  much  interest  to 
learn  what  were  the  special  grievances  in 
question,  and  why  the  tenants  of  East 
Meon  should  have  vented  their  spleen 
upon  their  Bishop. 

Receiving  a  full  pardon  and  accounted 
as  a  "  true  and  faithful  subject "  he  accepted 
without  reserve  the  decision  of  the  country 
as  to  the  final  issue  of  the  civil  strife,  and 
helped  by  his  adhesion  to  give  stability  to 
the  new  dynasty,  but  old  ties  were  not  for- 
gotten even  when  return  to  them  seemed 
hopeless,  and  after  Edward's  flight  from 
London  in  1470  the  Bishop  hastened  to  the 
Tower  to  lead  his  old  friend  and  sovereign 
out  to  freedom.  But  the  victories  of 
Barnet  and  Tewkesbury  soon  followed,  and 
after  a  few  months  he  needed  again  the  full 
pardon  which  was  generously  granted.  His 
relations  with  the  Court  became  as  cordial 
as  before ;  he  took  the  oath  of  fealty  to 
Edward's  eldest  son,  entertained  the  king 
in  his  college  of  Magdalen  in  Oxford,  and 


took  part  in  the  funeral  ceremonies  at 

In  these  vicissitudes  he  accepted  the 
inevitable  with  a  good  grace,  and  thought 
more  of  the  interests  of  stable  government 
than  of  party  cries  and  personal  attach- 
ment. It  may  seem  indeed  that  he  pushed 
such  indifference  too  far  in  his  attitude 
to  the  usurper  Richard.  Open  resistance 
certainly  would  have  been  hopeless  on  his 
part ;  as  a  man  of  peace  he  might  accept 
what  seemed  the  nation's  will ;  he  could 
not  safely  refuse  to  advance  the  loan  re- 
quired of  him  before  the  battle  of  Bosworth 
Field,  nor  decline  to  accept  for  his  College 
part  of  the  forfeited  estate  of  the  Duke  of 
Buckingham  ;  but  it  was  not  needful  to 
entertain  Richard  as  a  visitor  at  Magdalen 
College  in  1483,  and  the  countenance  thus 
given  to  a  bad  cause  was  surely  matter  for 

His  active  work  in  life  was  over  before 
the  accession  to  the  throne  of  the  heir  of 
Lancaster,  and  he  did  not  live  to  see  the 
completion  of  the  treaty  of  marriage 
between  the  two  rival  houses.  In  April, 
1486,  he  felt  that  the  end  was  near,  and  at 
his  Manor  of  Bishop's  Waltham  he  signed 
the  will  in  which  legacies  were  left  to  all 
the  members  of  the  religious  houses  of  St. 
Swithun,  of  Hyde,  and  the  Nunnery  and 
College  of  St.  Mary,  as  also  to  the  friars 
and  secular  clergy  of  Winchester,  with  gifts 
to  all  the  fellows,  scholars,  and  choristers 
of  Magdalen  and  New  College  at  Oxford. 
In  the  spirit  of  his  age  he  directed  that 
5000  masses  should  be  celebrated  for  him 
in  honour  of  the  five  wounds  of  Christ  and 
the  five  joys  of  the  Virgin  Mary.  He  died 
on  the  nth  of  August,  and  was  buried  in 
the  Cathedral  in  his  chantry  of  St.  Mary 

His  chief  title  to  the  gratitude  of  pos- 
terity consisted  in  his  splendid  foundation 

in  the  University  of  Oxford.  His  educa- 
tional endowments  there  began  as  early  as 
1448,  a  few  months  after  his  enthronement 
at  Winchester,  when  he  procured  letters 
patent  for  a  hall  for  the  study  of  theology 
and  philosophy  to  be  dedicated  to  St.  Mary 
Magdalen,  probably  in  memory  of  his 
relations  with  the  hospital  at  Winchester  ; 
but  he  enlarged  his  scheme  and  built  a 
college  on  a  greater  scale  near  the  original 
site,  the  charter  of  which  was  executed  in 
1458.  To  this  he  diverted  with  the  Pope's 
consent  the  funds  which  had  been  left 
by  Sir  John  Fastolf —  to  whom  he  was 
executor — for  the  foundation  of  a  college  at 
Caistor,  as  also  the  endowments  of  some 
religious  houses,  such  as  that  of  Selborne, 
which  had  failed  hopelessly  to  maintain 
the  conventional  ideal,  thus  setting  an 
example  which  was  to  be  followed  presently 
for  very  different  ends. 

There  he  entertained  Edward  IV  in 
1481  and  Richard  II  in  1483,  and  for  this 
enduring  monument  of  his  bounty  nearly 
all  his  remaining  property  was  at  last  left 
in  trust.  But  even  for  this  he  did  not 
neglect  the  interests  of  his  own  birthplace, 
nor  the  school  which  his  royal  master 
planted  and  fostered,  where  he  himself  had 
laboured,  and  become  life  visitor  by  royal 
nomination.  The  buildings  of  Eton  were 
finished  mostly  at  his  own  expense,  and 
Magdalen  College  School  still  remains,  and 
was  described  by  the  antiquarian  traveller 
as  "  the  most  notable  thing  in  Waynflete." 
At  St.  Cross,  where  the  endowments  pro- 
vided by  Beaufort  for  "the  almshouse  of 
noble  poverty"  had  been  plundered  during 
the  civil  wars,  he  did  his  best  to  secure  for 
its  support  the  benefices  which  still 
remained.  The  Cathedral  he  enriched 
with  the  monumental  shrine  which  vies  in 
beauty  with  his  predecessor's  chantry. 


Peter  Courtenay,  1487-1492. 

Waynflete's  successor  in  the  See  of 
Winchester  came  of  a  younger  branch  of 
the  noble  family  of  Courtenay.  The  home 
of  Sir  Philip,  his  father,  was  Powderham 
Castle  in  Devonshire,  and  from  early 
associations  and  the  influence  of  his  kins- 
men he  was  connected  during  most  of  his 
career  with  the  interests  of  that  county. 
Like  others  of  his  name  he  naturally  went 
to  Exeter  College,  Oxford,  where  he  studied 
for  three  years  in  the  Arts'  Course,  and 
after  that  spent  three  years  more  in  the 
Faculty  of  Civil  Law,  being  thus  qualified 
to  lecture  on  the  Institutes  in  the  nave  of 
St.  Mary's  Church,  after  the  grace  for 
which  he  made  formal  application,  as 
entered  on  the  University  books.  Many 
years  had  passed  since  the  study  of  Law 
was  discountenanced  by  Papal  bull  for 
ecclesiastics,  and  since  Peter  of  Blois 
defended  it  on  the  questionable  ground 
that  the  Prophet  Jeremiah  was  in  some 
sense  a  proficient  in  that  branch  of  learn- 
ing. The  highest  honours  in  Church  and 
State  had  long  been  its  rewards,  to  the  great 
discouragement,  as  Friar  Bacon  urged,  of 
more  profound  and  philosophic  thought. 

It  had  long  been  a  customary  practice 
for  men  of  means  and  scholarly  attainments 
to  pass  from  one  seat  of  general  study  to 
another.  So  to  complete  his  education, 
Peter  Courtenay  betook  himself  to  Padua, 
which  was  then,  under  the  favouring  care 
of  Venice,  one  of  the  most  eminent 
Universities  of  Europe.  He  devoted  him- 
self there  to  Canon  Law,  which  then  had 
special  interest  for  pushing  churchmen. 
The  Theology  of  the  Sorbonne  had  little 
attraction  for  ambitious  minds,  which  turned 
instead  to  Gratian's  Concordance  of  Canons 
and  Decretals,  by  which  the  principles  of 
Papal  autocracy  gained  firmer  hold  upon 
their  thought,  while  they  rose  themselves 
thereby  to  higher  posts. 

Family  influence  secured  him  from  the 
outset  an  ample  store  of  ecclesiastical  pre- 
ferments, beginning  with  a  parish  and 
Archdeaconry  in  his  native  county,  to  which 

were  added  in  the  course  of  time  a  prebend 
of  Lincoln,  the  Deanery  of  Windsor,  and  in 
1478  the  Bishopric  of  Exeter  by  Papal 

The  Statutes  of  Provisors  had  been 
repeatedly  ignored,  by  neglect  or  con- 
nivance of  the  Crown,  and  as  in  a  multitude 
of  other  cases  no  difficulties  were  raised 
when  Courtenay  was  provided  with  the 
See.  During  his  eight  years  of  episcopal 
rule  at  Exeter  political  interests  seem  to 
have  mainly  occupied  his  thoughts  and 
time.  Accepting  at  first  without  demur  the 
unscrupulous  measures  which  put  Richard 
III  upon  the  throne,  he  took  part  speedily 
in  the  conspiracy  of  Buckingham,  and  with 
others  of  his  family,  and  the  support  of 
Canons  of  the  Cathedral,  tried  to  organize 
a  general  rising  in  the  county  against  the 
Usurper's  rule.  Failing  hopelessly  in  this 
he  fled  to  Brittany,  where  he  joined  Henry 
of  Richmond  in  his  exile,  and  took  part  in 
the  schemes  and  enterprises  which  issued 
in  the  victory  of  Bosworth. 

Henry  VII  was  not  unmindful  of  the 
services  of  Courtenay.  The  temporalities 
of  the  See,  the  estates  which  had  been  con- 
fiscated, were  restored  without  delay,  and 
the  sentence  passed  against  him  was 
reversed  in  the  first  Parliament  of  the  new 
reign ;  he  was  employed  repeatedly  on 
special  commissions  and  in  offices  of  trust, 
and  was  made  Keeper  of  the  Privy  Seal,  at 
a  salary  of  twenty  shillings  a  day.  In  this 
capacity  his  name  appears  for  years  in 
royal  letters,  besides  the  complimentary 
presents  of  rich  robes,  in  which  Henry  VII, 
economical  as  he  was  in  other  ways, 
indulged  a  special  taste,  as  indicated  largely 
in  his  wardrobe  accounts. 

On  Waynflete's  death  the  King's  influence 
was  exerted  on  his  behalf  without  delay. 
The  temporalities  were  assigned  to  him, 
and  a  Papal  bull  of  29th  January,  1487,  trans- 
lated him  to  Winchester.  During  the  same 
year  a  number  of  the  graduates  of  Oxford 
\saiagentibus  togatis  haud  paucis)  put  his 
name  forward  in  the  election  of  a  Chancellor 
in  competition  with  the  Bishop  of  Lincoln, 
who  had  already  served  one  term  of  office, 


and  was  with  difficulty  re-elected  (cegre 
cancellarius  emicuit,  Wood). 

Courtenay's  career  was  nearly  closed, 
and  there  is  little  evidence  of  any  further 
prominence  in  public  life,  or  of  ecclesiastical 
interest  at  Winchester.  There  was  indeed 
one  great  function  there  during  his  time, 
when  Prince  Arthur  was  baptised  there  in 
great  state,  and  the  Cathedral  gorgeously 
adorned,  with  the  Doctors  assembled  "in 
rich  copes  and  grey  amys,"  while  outside  to 
do  honour  to  a  people's  holiday  two  pipes 
of  wine  were  broached  in  the  church-yard, 
"that  every  man  might  drink  enow."  But 
the  King  and  Queen  were  entertained,  not 
at  Wolvesey,  but  in  the  Warden's  house, 
and  it  would  seem  therefore  that  Courtenay 
must  have  been  then  in  failing  health, 
unable  to  receive  his  royal  master,  with 
whom  he  had  been  long  in  close  relations. 

There  is  little  of  local  interest  with  which 
his  name  can  be  connected.  The  lady 
chapel  indeed  was  being  lengthened  and 

the  crypt  built  below,  a  thank-offering  being 
given  by  the  Queen  towards  the  expenses, 
and  Courtenay's  arms  were  copied  there  as 
well  as  those  of  the  royal  family,  as  a  token 
doubtless  that  he  bore  part  of  the  charges. 
There  too  he  was  buried  in  1492,  for  his 
leaden  coffin  was  found  in  1885,  built  into 
a  wall  in  the  crypt  below  the  part  extended 
beyond  Bishop  de  Lucy's  work.  At  Exeter 
the  enduring  memories  of  his  episcopate 
were  also  associated  with  the  Cathedral 
structure.  The  north  tower  was  "  ingeni- 
ously rebuilt"  at  his  expense  so  as  to 
"combine  with  late  details  the  general 
Romanesque  effect"  (Freeman),  and  he 
put  in  it  a  clock  of  curious  construction  and 
a  bell  which  bore  his  name. 

Of  features  of  personal  character  little  or 
nothing  is  recorded ;  diocesan  activities 
have  left  no  traces  except  those  in  stone 
and  mortar  ;  he  appears  in  history  only  as 
an  educated  lawyer,  a  busy  politician,  and 
a  high-placed  court  official. 



Thomas  Langton,  1493—1601. 

Thomas  Langton  was  a  native  of  Appleby 
in  Westmoreland,  and  received  his  school- 
ing there,  as  we  are  told,  from  Carmelite 
Friars,  of  whose  educational  interests  little 
is  heard  elsewhere.  He  went  thence  to 
Queen's  College  at  Oxford,  to  which  north- 
countrymen  resorted,  but  left  it  to  escape 
the  plague,  like  Richard  Foxe,  his  suc- 
cessor at  Winchester,  and  entered  Clare 
Hall  in  Cambridge,  becoming  in  1461  a 
Fellow  of  Pembroke  College,  to  which 
he  gave  the  "  Anathema  Cup "  which  is 
still  preserved.  Proctor  in  1462,  he  quali- 
fied in  Civil  and  Canon  law,  but  soon 
quitted  the  University.  St.  Thomas  of 
Hereford,  two  centuries  earlier,  after  long 
periods  spent  as  a  student  at  Oxford, 
Paris,  and  Orleans,  could  get  a  special 
licence  of  non-residence  at  the  ripe  age 
of  fifty  for  further  studies  in  theology  ; 
but  the  practice  of  the  age  was  very 
different  now.  "  Long  continuance  in  those 
places,"  says  Harrison  of  Elizabethan 
England,  "  is  either  a  sign  of  lack  of 
friends  or  of  learning,  or  of  good  and 
upright  life,  as  Bishop  Foxe  sometimes 
noted,  who  thought  it  sacrilege  for  a  man 
to  tarry  any  longer  at  Oxford  than  he  had 
a  desire  to  profit."  We  hear  of  him  next 
as  chaplain  to  King  Edward,  and  as  such 
employed  by  him  on  diplomatic  errands  on 
the  continent.  In  one  of  these  he  used  his 
influence  with  the  French  king  at  Troyes 
in  behalf  of  Sellyng,  the  Prior  of  Christ 
Church,  Canterbury,  with  whom  he  had 
been  intimate  at  Padua  and  at  Rome,  to 
renew  the  grant  of  the  sixteen  hundred 
gallons  of  "  the  wine  of  St.  Thomas," 
which  had  been  sent  yearly  to  the  monks, 
with  occasional  breaks,  since  1179.  The 
grateful  convent  offered  him  in  return  the 
living  of  St.  Leonard's,  Eastcheap,  which 
he  declined,  accepting  however  afterwards 
the  benefice  of  All  Hallows',  Gracechurch 
Street,  in  much  request  among  chaplains  at 
the  Court.  In  1478  he  was  acting  as 
Proctor  in  Convocation  for  the  Priory  of 
Christ  Church,  and  proposes  in  a  letter  to 
Sellyng  to  deliver  a  speech  there  in  its 

interests  if  the  Prior  meantime  will  "  labour 
in  it."  He  tells  his  correspondent  that  the 
Bishop  of  Exeter  has  collated  him  to  the 
Treasurership  of  the  Cathedral,  "  which  is 
worth  a  hundred  marks." 

At  Edward's  death  there  was  no  change 
in  Langton's  influence  at  Court.  The  See 
of  St.  David's  was  conferred  on  him  in 
1483,  and  notwithstanding  the  statutes 
passed  against  Pro  visors,  he  was  formally 
licensed  to  send  to  Rome  for  the  necessary 
dispensation  that  he  might  hold  for  life  in 
commendam  the  benefice  of  Pembridge 
with  his  Bishoprick,  there  being,  it  was 
urged,  such  dilapidations  in  the  manors  of 
the  See  that  without  some  help  the  dignity 
of  the  office  could  not  be  maintained.  As 
Bishop-elect  he  was  present  at  the  cere- 
monies when  Richard  was  received  by 
Waynflete  at  Magdalen  College,  when 
"solemn  disputations  were  performed  in 
Hall,  and  the  Muses  crowned  the  King's 
brow  with  fragrant  wreaths"  (Wood). 
Richard  "scattered  his  benevolences  very 
liberally,"  and  made  a  favourable  impres- 
sion, as  it  seems,  on  Langton,  for  he  writes 
to  his  friend  the  Prior  in  something  more 
than  courtly  terms:  "The  king  contents 
the  people  wher  he  goes  best  that  ever  did 
prince  ;  for  many  a  poor  man  that  hath 
suffred  wrong  many  days  have  be  relevyd. 
.  .  .  On  my  trouth  I  lyked  never  the  con- 
dicion  of  any  prince  so  much  as  his.  God 
hath  sent  hym  to  us  for  the  wele  of  us  all." 
Some  doubt  may  be  felt  perhaps  as  to  the 
motives  of  his  praise,  for  he  adds  in  the 
letter :  f<  I  trust  to  God  that  ye  shal  have 
such  tythings  in  hast  that  I  shal  be  an 
Ynglish  man  and  no  more  Walsche."  The 
words  are  explained  by  his  speedy  transla- 
tion to  a  better  See,  and  the  King's  language 
in  his  letter  to  the  Chapter  of  Salisbury, 
shows  that  his  support  to  the  new  govern- 
ment was  really  valued.  "  Havyng  tendre 
regards  as  well  unto  the  laudable  merites, 
highe  vertues,  and  profounde  cunnyng,  that 
the  righte  reverend  fader  in  God,  our  righte 
trusty  and  right  welbeloved  counsaillor  the 
Bishop  of  Saint  David,  is  notarily  knowen 
to  be  of,  as  unto  othre  his  notable  desertes, 



continued  trouthe,  and  feithful  services  to 
us  in  sundry  wises  doon  to  our  singler 
pleasur,  hertily  pray  you  that  ye  wold  have 
hym  to  the  saide  preemynence  and  pas- 
toralle  dignitie  before  all  othre . . .  preferred  " 
(Letters  of  Richard  III,  I,  88,  Rolls  ed.). 

The  fall  of  Richard  and  the  accession  of 
Henry  VII  left  Langton's  fortune  undis- 
turbed ;  the  manors  granted  by  the  former 
as  a  mark  of  royal  favour  were  expressly 
exempted  from  forfeiture,  and  when  he 
became  Provost  of  Queen's  College,  Oxford, 
in  1487,  it  was  clear  that  he  had  still  influ- 
ence at  Court.  For  his  early  connexion 
with  the  College  had  been  short-lived,  and 
there  were  other  reasons,  doubtless,  for  the 
welcome  which  he  found  there.  The  Alien 
Priory  of  Sherborne,  in  the  Diocese  of 
Winchester,  had  been  put  like  the  rest  at 
the  disposal  of  the  Crown,  and  Henry  VI 
had  given  its  estates  to  his  favourite  founda- 
tion of  Eton  College.  Edward  IV  however, 
in  1461,  annulled  the  grant  and  assigned 
the  property  to  the  Hospital  of  St.  Julian 
at  Southampton,  which  in  its  turn  was 
annexed  to  Queen's  College,  and  had  made 
provision  for  religious  ministrations  on  the 
site  over  which,  as  the  Act  recited,  Popes 
and  English  Saints  had  watched  in  old 
time  with  fostering  care.  Cantilupe  indeed 
had  been  Rector  of  the  Parish  Church  hard 
by.  There  was  now  talk,  however,  of  fresh 
resumption  by  the  Crown,  and  seeing  its 
interests  thus  threatened,  the  College  was 
glad  to  have  a  Provost  and  a  Master  of  the 
Hospital,  whose  influence  might  screen  them 
from  attack.  He  held  both  offices  for  a  few 
years  only,  but  left  behind  him  when  he 
gave  them  up,  substantial  marks  of  his 
rule  in  improvements  in  their  buildings. 

In  1493  he  was  translated  to  the  see  of 
Winchester,  where  he  shewed  his  sympathy 
for  the  educational  interests  of  his  great 
predecessors  by  opening  a  school  in  the 
precincts  of  the  palace,  testing  himself  the 
progress  of  the  scholars  and  encouraging 
their  studies.  One  of  them  whom  he  sent 
on  to  the  Queen's  College  was  the  Richard 
Pace,  who  after  being  the  amanuensis 
of  the  Bishop,  and  attendant  on  Cardinal 
Bainbridge,  became  a  notable  diplomatist 
under  Wolsey. 

To  the  three  bishopricks  which  he  had 
held  already  a  further  promotion  followed 
in  1501,  when  he  was  elected  Archbishop 
of  Canterbury,  but  a  few  days  afterwards 
he  died  of  the  plague  before  the  appoint- 
ment was  confirmed,  and  he  was  buried 
in  the  richly  ornamented  chantry  which 
he  had  built  in  his  own  Cathedral.  The 
decorative  emblems  which  were  carved 
there  were  repeated  at  Queen's  College  by 
his  nephew,  who  added  to  the  long  musical 
note  and  the  ton,  which  together  stood  for 
Langton,  the  figures  of  a  roe  and  bear  to 
indicate  his  own  name  Robert. 

He  bequeathed  tokens  of  good  will  to 
the  Colleges  with  which  he  had  been 
connected,  and  did  not  in  his  benefactions 
forget  his  early  friends,  the  White  Friars  of 
his  native  Appleby,  nor  the  Churches  of 
Penrith  and  Soham,  where  he  had  been 
Rector  (ubi  olim  fueram  beneficiatus), 

In  the  critical  times  of  civil  strife  he 
steered  his  course  warily  through  the 
troubled  waters,  and  as  rulers  rose  and  fell 
he  served  each  with  unquestioning  loyalty 
in  turn,  and  yet  history  records  no  words  of 
grave  disparagement  from  hostile  voices. 

Chantry  of  Bishop  Foxe. 



Richard  Foxe,  1501    1528. 

In  Richard  Foxe  the  Diocese  had  a 
Bishop  worthy  to  be  classed  with  Wickham 
and  Waynflete,  his  great  predecessors  in 
the  See,  but  many  years  of  a  busy  life  were 
passed  before  he  found  much  leisure  for 
ecclesiastical  concerns  or  for  the  interests 
of  education.  He  was  born  about  1447  at 
Ropesley,  near  Grantham,  in  the  home  of 
a  yeoman  father  who  had  means  enough 
to  send  him  to  school  and  University,  not 
as  a  poor  scholar  to  "goe  a  begging  with 
bag  and  wallet,  and  sing  salve  Regina  at 
rich  men's  doors"  (Sir  T.  More),  but  able 
to  migrate  from  Oxford,  under  pressure  of 
the  plague,  to  Pembroke  College,  Cam- 
bridge, and  thence  to  Paris  in  due  course, 
to  verify  the  saying  that  "sundry  scholes 
maken  subtel  schollers." 

There  he  stayed  probably  many  years, 
but  he  is  not  heard  of  there  till  Henry, 
Earl  of  Richmond,  was  at  the  court  of  the 
French  King,  seeking  the  help  he  needed 
in  his  bold  enterprise  to  gain  the  English 
crown.  When  he  quitted  Paris  he  left 
Foxe,  then  a  priest  and  doctor  of  canon 
law,  to  negotiate  in  his  behalf,  and  the 
news  of  this  made  Richard  III  intervene 
in  1485  to  prevent  his  institution  to  the 
Vicarage  of  Stepney,  as  being  "with  the 
great  rebel,  Henry  of  Tudor." 

When  the  victory  was  won  at  Bosworth, 
Foxe  became  a  member  of  the  King's 
Council,  where  with  Morton  he  kept  watch 
over  his  master's  interests  being  "vigilant 
and  secret"  (Bacon). 

He  then  rose  rapidly  to  high  estate,  and 
as  Lord  of  the  Privy  Seal  was  for  many 
years  a  trusted  confidant  of  King  Henry, 
employed  in  diplomatic  business  of  great 
importance,  as  in  the  negotiations  of  the 
treaty  of  Estaples  and  in  the  interviews 
with  King  James  of  Scotland,  where  he 
arranged  the  preliminaries  of  the  marriage 
with  the  Princess  Margaret,  which  resulted 
in  the  happy  union  of  the  two  crowns. 
Meanwhile  he  was  rewarded  in  the  custom- 
ary way  with  ecclesiastical  preferment, 

with  a  natural  understanding  that  the 
duties  of  such  offices  could  be  performed 
only  by  deputy,  but  Bishops  in  partibus 
were  always  to  be  found,  and  their  services 
could  always  be  secured.  He  became 
Bishop  of  Exeter  in  1487,  and  of  Bath  and 
Wells  in  1492,  and  in  both  cases  the  purely 
episcopal  functions  were  discharged  by  an 
Archbishop  of  Tenos.  Then  he  was  trans- 
lated in  1494  to  Durham,  where  his  presence 
on  the  Scottish  borders  would  be  of  service 
to  the  State  and  dangerous  to  himself,  as 
was  proved  indeed  ere  long  when  he  was 
besieged  by  the  invaders  in  his  Castle  of 
Norham,  which,  however,  he  had  had  the 
foresight  to  fortify  and  provision  amply 
for  defence. 

In  serving  the  interests  of  a  thrifty 
and  somewhat  grasping  monarch,  like 
Henry  VII,  he  could  not  easily  escape 
some  hostile  comments.  The  practical 
dilemma,  commonly  called  Morton's  fork, 
was  attributed  to  him,  when  gaily  dressed 
clerics  were  taxed  for  a  state  loan  on  the 
scale  of  their  visible  expenditure,  while 
others  who  came  in  sorry  garb  had  to 
subscribe  in  regard  to  their  apparent 
savings.  Men  quoted  without  misgiving 
the  jest  or  sarcasm  fathered  on  the  Bishop's 
chaplain,  "my  lord,  to  save  the  King's 
turn,  will  not  stick  to  agree  to  his  own 
father's  death." 

The  decease  in  1509  of  Henry  VII,  for 
whom  he  acted  as  executor,  made  no  differ- 
ence for  a  time  in  the  political  influence  of 
Foxe,  already  for  some  years  Bishop  of 
Winchester  (1501),  but  his  position  was 
now  more  difficult,  for  his  authority  was 
balanced  by  that  of  Thomas  Howard,  Earl 
of  Surrey,  who  had  little  love  for  the 
economical  traditions  of  the  last  reign. 
But  the  ambassador  of  Venice  spoke  of 
Foxe  as  an  alter  rex,  and  royal  influence 
decided  in  his  favour  the  issue  of  a  dispute 
with  Warham,  which  had  been  referred  to 
Rome  already,  as  to  the  prerogatives  of  the 
Archbishop's  Court  in  business  of  probate 
and  administration — a  curious  revival  of 
the  protests  raised  two  centuries  earlier 



by  the  Bishops  with  Cantilupe  at  their 
head  against  the  pretensions  of  Archbishop 

The  war  with  France  in  1513  gave  com- 
manding influence  to  Wolsey,  and  from 
this  time  the  Bishop  falls  into  the  back- 
ground, though  he  was  present  with  the 
invading  army,  and  acted  afterwards  as 
commissioner  in  the  treaty  of  peace  and 
marriage  which  was  concluded  in  1514.  It 
has  been  thought,  on  the  slender  authority 
of  Polydore  Vergil,  a  biassed  witness,  that 
Wolsey  schemed  to  oust  Foxe  from  his 
place  at  court  with  a  view  to  the  monopoly 
of  influence  there.  But  the  letters  which 
passed  between  the  two  prove  clearly  that 
this  was  the  malicious  invention  of  the 
writer,  which  Archbishop  Parker  did  not 
scruple  to  repeat.  In  answer  to  pressing 
appeals  from  Wolsey  in  1522  to  take  more 
part  in  the  affairs  of  the  state,  Foxe  urges 
his  own  weariness  of  worldly  business,  and 
his  compunction  at  his  past  neglect  of 
higher  duties.  Of  the  four  cathedral 
churches  he  had  held  "there  be  two, 
scilicet  Excestre  and  Welles,  that  I  never 
see,  and  innumerable  sawles  whereof  I 
never  see  the  bodies." 

Such  regret  to  a  sensitive  conscience 
was  natural  enough,  though  the  neglect  in 
question  was  condoned  largely  by  the 
opinion  of  the  age,  and  the  Crown  insisted 
on  its  right  to  withdraw  —  as  by  Papal 
dispensation — any  of  its  clerks  from  the 
obligation  of  residence  on  their  cures. 

Thenceforth  for  the  few  years  of  life 
which  still  remained  he  gave  himself  wholly 
up  to  the  administration  of  his  diocese  and 
the  educational  interests  of  the  future.  In 
the  former  he  found  much  to  trouble  him  ; 
the  condition  of  the  clergy  gave  him  grave 
concern  ;  the  monks,  as  he  wrote  to 
Wolsey  on  2nd  January,  1521,  were  so 
depraved,  so  licentious  and  corrupt,  that 
reformation  seemed  to  him  quite  hopeless 
in  his  diocese.  Such  evidence  from  one 
who  had  seen  no  little  of  the  world,  and 
had  no  personal  bias,  we  may  well  re- 
member when  we  read  the  apologies  for 

the  monasteries  in  the  days  of  their  decline 
put  forth  in  the  name  of  history. 

After  a  blindness  of  some  time  he  passed 
away  full  of  years  and  honours  on  the 
5th  October,  1528,  and  was  buried  on  the 
same  day  in  the  Cathedral  in  the  "gorgeous 
chantry  which,  from  the  hours  of  devotion 
which  he  spent  in  this  destined  spot  of  his 
interment,  obtained  the  name  of  Foxe's 
study"  (Milner). 

There  is  much  indeed  besides  in  the 
Cathedral  which  recalls  his  memory,  as  the 
vaulting  of  the  choir,  the  tracery  of  the 
stone  partitions  on  each  side  when  the 
Norman  aisles  were  taken  down,  the  east 
end  gable  crowned  by  his  figure,  the  flying 
buttresses  with  his  favourite  emblem  of 
the  pelican  and  its  eucharistic  symbolism, 
and  the  mortuary  chests  set  one  over  each 
arch,  and  replacing  the  leaden  coffins  due 
to  an  earlier  bishop. 

Farnham  Castle  and  the  Hospital  of  St. 
Cross  were  indebted  to  his  bounty,  as  also 
the  castles  of  Durham  and  Norham,  and 
the  abbeys  of  Glastonbury  and  Netley,  and 
St.  Mary's  Church  in  Oxford  ;  in  Ropesley, 
his  native  place,  it  is  believed  that  he  left 
his  mark  on  the  parish  church,  where  the 
south  porch  and  the  elaborate  tracery  in 
the  south  aisle  date  from  his  time. 

The  great  work  of  his  life,  however,  was 
connected  with  the  universities,  and  it  is 
by  this  that  his  memory  endures.  With 
both  Oxford  and  Cambridge  he  had  intimate 
relations,  dating  from  his  boyhood.  As  an 
executor  of  the  Lady  Margaret  he  had 
helped  Fisher  and  others  to  complete  the 
foundation  of  St.  John's  College,  Cambridge, 
which  was  left  unfinished  at  her  death.  He 
was  also  from  1507  to  1519  Master  of  Pem- 
broke College,  to  which  he  had  been  elected 
probably  for  some  special  purpose,  as  his 
predecessor,  Langton,  was  at  Queen's  in 
Oxford.  It  is  therefore  somewhat  sur- 
prising that  as  Visitor  of  Magdalen  College 
he  should  have  ruled,  after  appeal  to  him, 
that  the  President,  Mayhew,  being  Bishop 
of  Hereford,  must  resign  his  office  as  in- 
compatible with  his  other  duties.  But  he 



provided  in  the  Statutes  of  the  College  that 
he  founded  that  the  Head  might  not  also 
be  a  Bishop.  Besides  his  relations  with  the 
Colleges  already  named  he  also,  under  a 
commission  of  Pope  Julius  II,  drew  up 
amended  statutes  for  Balliol  College,  which 
were  in  force  till  recent  days,  and  was 
himself  elected  its  Visitor  in  1511. 

His  great  Academic  work  was  the  found- 
ation in  1515  of  Corpus  Christi  College,  the 
name  of  which  was  in  close  connection 
with  his  favourite  symbol.  This  was 
remarkable  not  only  because  he  endowed 
a  secular  college,  rather  than  an  establish- 
ment for  young  monks,  at  the  possible 
suggestion  of  Bishop  Oldham,  for  indeed  it 
is  surprising  that  he  had  any  such  idea,  at 
a  time  when  the  whole  conventual  system 
was  fatally  discredited,  and  reforming  move- 
ments as  well  as  new  foundations  were 
matters  of  the  past.  Nor  again  was  it  the 
bounty  merely  that  called  a  new  college 
into  being  out  of  his  own  private  funds 
that  requires  grateful  notice  so  much  as  the 
new  spirit  of  a  wider  humanism  that  was 
to  find  in  it  official  recognition.  The  study 
of  Greek  was  to  be  naturalised  in  it  ; 
foreign  lecturers  were  to  be  given  a 
welcome  without  regard  to  national  pre- 
judice ;  mediaeval  commentaries  replaced 
by  the  Fathers  of  the  Church  ;  and  the 
new  spirit  of  the  Renaissance  to  breathe  in 
the  text  of  ancient  study. 

His  aim  throughout  the  Statutes  which 
regulated  the  life  of  the  community  was  to 
"  extirpate  barbarism  from  his  beehive," 
and  train  a  learned  clergy  in  what  Erasmus 
called  its  trilinguis  bibliotheca,  combining 
the  study  of  the  poets,  historians,  and 
orators  of  Greece  and  Rome  with  the 
dominant  theology  and  the  logic  of  the 

To  the  College  he  left  his  crozier,  chalice, 
paten  and  rings,  and  there  they  are  still 

Bishop  Foxe's  Tomb. 

The  tomb  of  Bishop  Foxe  was  opened  on 
January  28th,  1820.  The  discoveries  then 
made  are  described  by  Canon  Nott  in  a 
careful  report  which  he  shortly  afterwards 
gave  to  the  President  of  Corpus  Christi 
College,  Oxford,  a  copy  of  which  exists  in 
the  Cathedral  Library. 

About  three  feet  of  earth  had  accumulated 
at  the  back  of  the  altar  screen.  In  the 
course  of  its  removal  a  part  of  the  pave- 
ment was  lifted,  unexpectedly  disclosing 
the  large  ledger  stone  of  Bishop  Foxe's 
tomb  close  to  the  surface.  This  stone  was 
seen  to  be  broken  into  three  parts,  with 
wide  cracks,  through  which  much  earth 
had  fallen,  and  it  was  decided  to  replace  it 
with  a  new  one.  When  the  new  stone  was 
ready,  the  broken  one  was  lifted  in  the 
presence  of  Dr.  Nott  and  other  Canons. 
It  was  then  seen  that  the  coffin  was  entire, 
the  unfastened  lid  lying  upon  it  in  the 
manner  in  which  it  had  originally  been 
placed.  The  coffin  itself  was  formed  of 
loose  oak  planks,  joined  very  lightly  to- 
gether without  nails,  such  as  might  have 
been  used  either  for  the  sake  of  great 
humility  or  owing  to  the  need  of  haste. 
On  each  side  of  it  lay  the  pieces  of  the 
wands  of  the  officers  who  had  attended  the 
funeral,  and  between  it  and  the  sides  of 
the  tomb  four  or  five  large  pieces  of  painted 
marble  (described  below).  On  removing 
the  lid  it  was  seen  that  the  remains  lay 
exactly  in  the  form  in  which  they  must 
have  been  placed.  The  Bishop's  head 
rested  gently  inclined  upon  his  bosom. 
The  features  were  destroyed,  but  there  was 
enough  of  the  dried  flesh  remaining  to  give 
a  general  appearance  of  a  human  face. 
The  mitre,  in  great  part  remaining,  con- 
tinued on  the  head.  It  had  been  of  velvet, 
the  plush  being  quite  perished,  but  the 
webb  was  nearly  entire.  On  the  left  side 
lay  the  crozier,  the  hand  bent  round  still 
seeming  to  hold  it.  The  right  hand  rested 
on  the  bosom,  covered  with  a  glove,  which 
was  perfect  though  colourless,  and  pre- 
served the  bones  in  their  places,  the  articu- 
lation of  the  joints  being  plainly  visible. 


The  crozier  was  of  wood,  very  neatly  carved. 
Its  appearance  was  so  interesting,  that  it 
was  taken  up  for  the  purpose  of  having  an 
accurate  drawing  made  of  it.  The  feet 
were  in  boots,  and  between  them  lay  a 
small  leaden  box,  very  carefully  fastened 
up,  and  about  two  and  a  half  inches  long 
by  two  inches  wide.  It  had  no  inscription 
beyond  the  initials  R.  F.  This  box  was 
taken  up  and  afterwards  opened  in  the 
Dean's  presence.  It  proved  to  contain  a 
small  piece  of  vellum,  on  which  was  written 
very  neatly  in  Gothic  characters  : — 

Quinto  die  Octobris  anno  Domini  millimo 
quingentesimo  vicesimo  octavo  obiit  et  sepultus 
est  Ricardus  Fox  hujus  ecclesise  Epus.  qui  hanc 
rexit  ecclesiam  septem  et  viginti  annis  integre. 

The  inscription  is  interesting,  as  giving 
the  true  date  of  Foxe's  death,  elsewhere 
given  differently ;  and  secondly  as  seeming 
to  imply  that  he  was  buried  the  day  he 
died,  which  would  account  for  the  appear- 
ance of  the  coffin. 

Respecting  the  pieces  of  Purbeck  marble 
above  mentioned,  when  joined  together  the 

subject  of  the  painting  proved  to  be  the 
Coronation  of  the  Virgin,  and  work  of 
the  thirteenth  century.  How  came  it  in 
the  tomb  ?  Dr.  Nott's  conjecture  is  that  it 
was  the  altar  piece  of  a  chapel  destroyed  in 
the  building  of  Foxe's  Chantry,  and  ordered 
by  him  to  be  preserved  in  this  way  as  a 
mark  of  affection  or  respect. 

The  tomb  contained  no  other  object  of 
curiosity.  Its  dimensions  were  7ft.  lin. 
long,  3ft.  1 1  in.  deep,  2ft.  gin.  wide.  The 
coffin  was  5ft.  ii^in.  long  by  ift.  loin,  wide 
at  the  head  and  ift.  6in.  at  the  feet. 

It  was  manifest,  says  Dr.  Nott,  that  the 
tomb  had  never  suffered  injury,  either  from 
sacrilegious  profanement,  or  rude  curiosity. 
The  only  suspicious  circumstance  suggest- 
ing that  it  might  have  been  opened,  was 
that  there  was  no  ring,  either  within  or 
without  the  glove. 

The  crozier  is  in  the  Cathedral  Library, 
and  also  a  magnificent  sapphire  ring  said 
to  have  been  Bishop  Foxe's,  but  on  what 
authority,  if  any,  is  not  known.  F  T  M 



Thomas  Wolsey,  1529-1530. 

It  would  be  inappropriate  as  well  as 
hopeless  to  attempt  in  a  column  or  two  of 
a  Diocesan  Chronicle  to  discuss  the  charac- 
ter and  career  of  a  great  master  of  state- 
craft. It  is  in  that  aspect  alone  that 
Thomas  Wolsey  is  remembered  now,  except 
for  a  few  pathetic  memories  of  his  sufferings 
from  the  ingratitude  and  colossal  egotism 
of  the  royal  master  he  had  served  so  faith- 
fully. His  ecclesiastical  relations  fill  no 
place  in  our  thoughts,  and  with  good  reason, 
for  almost  to  the  end  their  interests  and 
duties  were  consistently  ignored.  Yet  it 
may  be  worth  while  to  notice  briefly  two  or 
three  features  of  his  public  life  which 
remind  us  of  striking  defects  of  the  pre- 
reformation  Church,  as  also  of  his  sadly 
disappointed  efforts  to  rival  the  enduring 
work  of  his  great  predecessors  in  the  See 
of  Winchester. 

No  one,  perhaps,  has  more  fully  repre- 
sented the  practice  of  delegation  which 
had  been  throughout  so  widely  accepted  in 
the  Church.  In  every  grade  of  the  hierarchy 
official  substitutes  were  provided  as  a  matter 
of  course  by  regular  appointment.  Religious 
houses  were  forced  to  endow  parochial 
vicars  ;  Cathedral  dignitaries  and  canons 
must  have  each  his  vicar  choral ;  vicars 
general  acted  for  the  bishops  ;  archdeacons 
nominated  their  officials  to  do  all  their 
work,  while  they  studied  Canon  law  at 
Orleans  or  Padua,  or  ran  into  debt  or 
to  worse  scrapes,  and  even  when  they  came 
back  at  length  to  be  scolded  in  the  Bishop's 
pastorals  for  their  exactions  or  short- 
comings. Those  days  indeed  are  far  away ; 
it  seems  almost  irreverent  to  recall  them. 
The  Church  had  the  monopoly  of  these 
abuses  ;  the  State  could  not  tolerate  them 
in  its  official  life.  Chancellors,  treasurers, 
and  judges  had  to  work  hard  and  could 
not  delegate  their  duties,  for  the  whole 
machinery  would  else  have  fallen  out  of 
gear.  It  was  the  State  indeed,  it  may  be 
said,  that  largely  forced  for  its  own  con- 
venience the  unseemly  practice  on  the 
Church.  It  would  have  educated  men  to 
do  its  work,  and  the  ranks  of  the  Clergy 

only  could  supply  them ;  those  ranks  indeed 
were  very  large,  vastly  greater  than  at 
present  in  proportion  to  the  population  ;  as 
far  as  numbers  went  they  could  easily  have 
been  spared,  and  have  left  amply  enough 
behind  for  spiritual  work.  But  the  State 
must  have  picked  men,  and  would  pay  them 
from  Church  funds  by  using  its  preferments 
to  reward  them.  Non-residence  and  dele- 
gation naturally  followed.  If  now  and  then 
a  punctilious  Bishop  ventured  to  cite  an 
absent  Rector,  he  was  soon  trounced  by  an 
angry  letter  from  the  King,  for  the  privileges 
of  his  civil  servants  were  endangered.  But 
the  Bishops  themselves  had  often  been  the 
worst  offenders,  because  the  ablest  servants 
and  the  best  paid.  They  had  been  pluralists 
to  an  astonishing  extent,  for  dispensations 
were  easily  procured  by  men  who  could 
dispose  of  the  interest  or  funds  which  were 
all-powerful  at  Rome.  At  times  indeed 
a  General  Council,  like  the  Second  of 
Lyons,  stirred  by  some  conscientious 
scruple  or  high-minded  Pope,  issued  an 
ineffectual  Canon,  or  a  stern  martinet  like 
John  XXII  by  a  Bull  Execrabilis,  caused 
wide-spread  dismay.  But  these  were  only 
temporary  measures,  and  the  abuses  were 

Wolsey  at  the  close  of  the  old  system 
surpassed  all  the  pluralists  who  went  before 
him  in  the  magnitude  of  his  ecclesiastical 
possessions.  It  was  not  merely  that  in  the 
earlier  days  he  accepted  a  multitude  of 
different  preferments  as  the  substantial 
tokens  of  Court  favour.  Nothing  was  too 
insignificant  to  be  added  to  the  list.  Pratum 
minus  was  the  tiniest  prebend  of  one  of 
the  most  slenderly  endowed  of  English 
chapters,  consisting,  as  it  seems,  of  a  few 
trusses  of  hay  from  the  Lugg  meadows  of 
Hereford,  but  Wolsey  was  content  to  hold 
it  till  the  Deanery  was  vacant.  The 
Bishops  had  commonly  resigned  their 
benefices  at  or  soon  after  their  election, 
and  vacated  each  See  in  turn  as  they  passed 
on  to  a  better.  Wolsey  accumulated  bishop- 
ricks  as  others  had  done  livings.  Besides 
the  Archbishoprick  of  York,  he  had  the 
Abbacy  of  St.  Albans,  and  one  important 



See  as  well,  either  Bath,  Durham,  or 
Winchester,  for  these  three  he  held  in  suc- 
cession but  not  jointly.  Nor  was  it  English 
preferment  only  that  was  treated  thus. 
When  he  resigned  the  See  of  Tournai  he 
retained  a  large  pension  on  its  funds.  By 
favour  of  the  Emperor  he  had  a  bishoprick 
in  Spain  as  well  as  considerable  charges 
on  some  other  Sees,  the  payment  of  which, 
it  must  be  owned,  were  often  delayed  and 
sometimes  never  made.  Such  an  accumu- 
lation was  unexampled  among  English 
prelates.  Indeed  the  practice  of  holding 
high  preferments  in  commendam  was  Con- 
tinental more  than  English,  for  here  the 
custody  of  parish  churches  only  had  been 
usually  granted  in  an  earlier  age  as  a 
temporary  measure  till  the  holder  was 
qualified  by  age  or  Orders.  In  Carlovingian 
times  episcopal  temporalities  had  been 
conferred  as  fiefs  on  military  chieftains, 
and  though  the  Church  regained  its  rights 
over  the  French  Sees,  Abbacies  in  later 
days  were  often  given  in  commendam. 

The  See  of  Winchester  was  given  to 
Wolsey  when  he  was  already  tottering  to 
his  fall  ;  and  he  was  installed  by  proxy,  on 
April  i  ith,  1529,  to  hold  it  for  a  few  months 
only.  The  Register  describes  the  scene 
when  William  Britten,  Chaplain  and  Proctor 
of  Thomas  Wolsey,  "perpetual  adminis- 
trator of  the  See  of  Winchester,"  was  met 
by  the  Mayor  and  others  at  the  door  of 
the  church  of  St.  Mary  Kalendar,  and 
escorted  in  splendid  ceremony  to  the 
Cathedral.  That  the  Cardinal  had  "gaped" 
for  years  for  the  preferment  (Fuller),  or 
pressed  Foxe  to  resign  it  in  his  favour,  we 
may  probably  dismiss  as  malevolent  inven- 
tions ;  he  refused  to  pay  the  price  which 
the  Court  of  Rome  at  first  demanded — 
thirteen  thousand  ducats — to  expedite  the 
necessary  bulls  (letter  of  Peter  Vannes), 
but  Casalis  promised  six  thousand  in  his 
name,  and  an  early  resignation  of  the 
bishoprick  of  Durham,  which  would  involve, 
as  it  was  urged,  large  dues  to  be  paid  by 
his  successor.  There  is  no  record  after 
this  of  any  visit  of  Wolsey  to  Winchester. 
A  vicar  general,  John  Incent,  was  immedi- 

ately appointed,  and  all  the  details  of  the 
administration  were  left  in  his  and  other 
hands.  The  Register  contains  little  but 
the  entries  of  the  collation  of  William 
Boleyn  to  the  Archdeaconry  of  Winchester 
and  of  Edward  Lee  to  that  of  Surrey, 
together  with  the  details  of  the  election  of  a 
few  heads  of  religious  houses  and  the  lists  of 
institutions.  He  was  soon  required  (March 
29th)  to  sign  a  commission  to  his  vicar 
general  to  vest  in  the  King  the  disposal  of 
benefices  and  offices  of  his  See,  and  with 
that  his  powers  of  control  were  ended. 

Had  fortune  favoured  him  he  would 
have  doubtless  followed  further  in  the 
steps  of  Wykeham,  Waynflete,  and  Foxe, 
for  his  educational  interests  were  amply 
shown  in  the  schemes  which  he  was  not 
able  to  carry  to  completion.  The  splendid 
endowments  for  the  Colleges  which  he 
founded  had  been  bestowed  after  he  had 
used  his  legatine  authority,  and,  by  his 
own  admission,  infringed  the  Statute  of 
Provisors.  They  were,  so  lawyers  insisted, 
wholly  void,  and  at  the  King's  disposal. 
The  College  at  Ipswich  was  totally  sup- 
pressed, and  "  a  noble  foundation,  so  much 
needed  for  the  eastern  counties,  was 
brought  to  desolation  by  the  avarice  of  the 
King  and  the  greed  of  his  favourites" 
(Brewer).  Cardinal  College,  at  Oxford, 
survived  only  on  a  poorer  scale,  for  Henry 
said  to  his  petitioners  that  "  he  would  have 
an  honourable  College  there,  but  not  so 
great,  or  of  such  magnificence  as  my  Lord 
Cardinal  intended  to  have,  for  it  is  not 
thought  meet  for  the  common  good  of  our 
realm."  It  had  been  designed  for  a  Dean 
and  sixty  canons  with  six  professors,  and 
petty  canons  and  choristers  to  match ; 
buildings  on  a  grand  scale  had  been  pushed 
on,  and  part  even  of  St.  Frideswyde's 
Church  demolished  to  make  room  for  them. 
But  no  survivals  of  conventual  life  were 
embodied  in  the  scheme,  in  which  the 
mediaeval  element  had  found  no  place. 
Of  all  the  conditions  of  his  downfall  this 
mutilation  of  his  fond  hopes  as  founder 
grieved  Wolsey  perhaps  the  most.  All  his 
repeated  efforts  in  his  letters  to  Cromwell, 



Gardiner,  the  Chief  Justice,  the  Attorney 
General,  and  others,  were  unavailing.  The 
suppression  of  religious  houses,  which  it 
had  cost  him  so  much  to  carry  through, 
with  papal  bulls  and  heavy  legal  charges, 
this  indeed  was  soon  to  be  continued.  Not 
only  the  decayed  and  useless,  which  he 
would  have  replaced  by  worthier  institutions, 
but  all  alike  were  soon  to  be  swept  away. 
A  fatal  example  had  been  set  before  the 
eyes  of  a  man  like  Henry,  for,  as  Fuller 
puts  it,  his  precedent  "  made  all  the  forest 
of  religious  foundations  in  England  to 
shake,  justly  fearing  the  King  would  fell 
the  oaks,  seeing  the  Cardinal  began  to  cut 
the  underwood." 

That   the   time   had  come  for  a  large 
policy  of  reform,  if  not  of  suppression,  few 

can  doubt  who  know  much  of  the  history 
of  those  times.  We  may  reject  indeed  the 
grossly  prejudiced  accounts  of  Cromwell's 
agents  as  of  no  value  in  themselves,  but 
there  is  a  danger  that  in  the  natural 
reaction  we  should  give  too  little  heed 
to  other  evidence  which  does  exist,  not 
indeed  of  numerous  and  widespread  im- 
moralities, but  of  frequent  failures  to  main- 
tain a  fair  level  of  spiritual  life,  of  laxity  of 
discipline  and  sloth,  which  might  not 
indeed  shock  their  tenants  and  their  neigh- 
bours in  the  country-side,  but  which  made 
the  monks  fall  far  short  of  the  ideals  of 
their  pious  founders,  while  they  were  also 
powerless  to  fill  a  worthy  place  in  the 
future  development  of  national  life. 



Stephen  Gardiner.— 1631-1565. 

Of  the  early  life  of  Gardiner  little  more 
is  known  than  that  he  was  the  son  of  a 
cloth- worker  of  Bury, St.  Edmunds,  that 
he  studied  at  Trinity  Hall,  Cambridge,  of 
which  he  was  a  Fellow,  and  afterwards 
Master,  becoming  a  Doctor  of  Civil  Law 
in  1521,  and  of  Canon  Law  in  the  following 
year.  As  tutor  in  the  family  of  the  Duke 
of  Norfolk,  he  was  introduced  to  Wolsey, 
who  made  him  his  private  secretary,  and 
soon  recognised  his  talents.  When  it  was 
known  that  King  Henry  was  intent  to 
break  the  ties  which  bound  him  to  Queen 
Catherine,  Gardiner  was  sent  in  1528  with 
Edward  Foxe  to  urge  on  Pope  Clement 
the  appointment  of  a  commission  to  try 
the  cause  in  England,  which  in  effect  was 
to  brave  the  resentment  of  the  Emperor, 
and  ignore  the  ruling  of  a  preceding  pope. 
They  found  him  at  Orvieto,  and  their 
letters  describe  the  scene  vividly  with  the 
course  of  the  negotiations.  Much  impressed 
by  the  poverty-stricken  surroundings  of  the 
Papal  Court,  they  had  no  word  to  say  of 
the  Duomo  with  its  magnificent  facade,  or 
of  the  picturesque  position  of  the  town. 
Passing  through  a  few  corridors  peopled 
with  a  motley  crowd,  they  found  the  Pope 
in  a  poor  chamber  on  a  bench  covered 
with  a  threadbare  cushion.  There,  if  we 
may  trust  these  letters,  they  plied  him,  in 
repeated  interviews  for  hours  at  a  stretch, 
with  bold  importunities  and  threats  which 
the  Pope  parried  with  evasive  pleas,  and 
sometimes  with  playful  humour,  as  when 
he  said  that  he  was  told  that  the  principles 
of  Canon  Law  were  locked  up  in  his  breast, 
but  God  had  not  been  pleased  to  provide 
him  with  a  key.  They  had  been  instructed 
to  use  "  all  goodly  and  duke  ways  without 
concitating  the  Pope  by  any  sharp  words 
of  discomfort,"  but  he  appears  to  have 
writhed  under  Gardiner's  stormy  outbursts, 
and  they  wrung  from  him  at  length  a  con- 
cession, dishonest  indeed,  but  of  less  value 
than  it  seemed,  and  Gardiner  returned  to 
rise  at  once  in  the  King's  favour,  to  be  his 
"right  hand"  when  Wolsey  fell,  and  to 

receive  the  See  of  Winchester  as  his 
reward  in  1531. 

He  had  shown  no  scruples  hitherto  in 
furthering  the  policy  of  his  royal  master. 
For  the  divorce  he  had  spared  no  diplomatic 
efforts  to  obtain  the  sanction  of  Clement  at 
Orvieto,  and  the  favourable  judgment  of 
the  heads  of  the  University  at  Cambridge. 
There  was  no  visible  reluctance  in  dis- 
placing the  authority  of  the  Pope  by  royal 
supremacy,  for  he  wrote  a  book,  which  he 
would  gladly  have  forgotten  later  on,  de 
•vera  obedientia.  The  story  that  he  was 
forced  to  compose  it  under  pain  of  death 
was  apparently  an  afterthought  of  his 
friends.  He  calmly  acquiesced  in  the  sup- 
pression of  the  religious  houses.  But  he 
was  of  less  pliant  humour  when  the  revolu- 
tionary flood  rose  higher.  He  succeeded 
in  dissuading  Henry  from  any  compact  with 
the  German  Protestants  which  would  tie 
his  hands  in  future  policy ;  he  did  not 
disguise  his  disapproval  of  the  tendencies 
encouraged  by  Cromwell  and  by  Cranmer, 
though  he  took  an  active  part  in  the  trans- 
lation of  the  New  Testament.  The  answer 
to  the  Supplication  of  the  Commons  which 
was  drafted  by  his  hand  was  a  cogent  but 
temperate  defence  of  the  rights  and  interests 
of  his  Order.  This  coupled  with  resistance 
to  a  proposed  exchange  of  some  Church 
property  caused  him  a  certain  loss  of  royal 
favour,  and  may  have  led  to  his  exclusion 
from  the  list  of  the  executors  who  were 
charged  with  the  government  during  the 
young  King's  minority ;  but  the  story  of 
the  suspicion  and  resentment  with  which 
the  King  regarded  him  at  last,  and  which 
would  have  led  to  his  disgrace  had  the 
King  lived  longer,  seems  to  be  mostly  due 
to  the  malice  of  Paget,  a  former  dependant 
of  the  Bishop. 

The  extreme  advocates  of  reform  had 
been  alternately  encouraged  and  repressed 
on  grounds  of  personal  policy,  but  Henry's 
death  now  freed  them  from  restraint.  The 
result  was  seen  immediately  in  outspoken 
language  and  illegal  acts,  which  were  met 
with  strong  protest  from  Gardiner.  He 

Portrait  of  Bishop  Gardiner. 

(From  the  painting  in  Trinity  Hall,  Cambridge.) 

[By  kind  permission  of  Mr.   Palmer  Clarke,  Cambridge.) 


had  shown  no  sympathy  for  ceremonial  and 
doctrinal  changes :  he  objected  to  them 
now  on  the  constitutional  ground  that  the 
Council  had  no  authority  to  sanction  them. 
But  the  Protector  and  Cranmer  would  go 
forward ;  the  Injunctions  and  Homilies 
were  issued,  and  their  resolute  opponent 
must,  it  seemed,  be  silenced.  He  was 
committed  therefore  to  the  Fleet,  from 
which  he  was  released  only  to  give  more 
offence  by  his  strictures  on  the  translation 
of  the  Paraphrase  of  Erasmus,  as  well  as 
by  the  sermon  which  by  order  of  the 
Council  he  was  called  upon  to  preach.  He 
was  sent  then  to  the  tower,  where  he 
penned  a  forcible  reply  to  Cranmer's  treatise 
on  the  Sacrament.  His  bishoprick  was 
sequestered,  and,  notwithstanding  his  dig- 
nified remonstrances  at  his  illegal  imprison- 
ment, he  remained  there  till  the  accession 
of  Mary  restored  him  to  freedom  and  to 
the  See  of  which  he  had  meantime  been 

As  adviser  of  Queen  Mary  and  Lord 
Chancellor  he  became  at  once  the  leading 
spirit  of  the  new  government,  which,  while 
returning  unmistakably  to  the  principles  of 
the  unreformed  Church,  was  merciful  at 
first  in  its  treatment  of  its  opponents. 
Cranmer  might  have  retired  on  a  pension 
into  private  life  if  he  could  have  refrained 
from  controversy.  Peter  Martyr  and  other 
foreigners  of  note  were  allowed  to  depart 
uninjured,  even  provided  with  money  for  the 
purpose  ;  the  submission  to  Papal  authority 
was  delayed  a  while,  perhaps  because 
Gardiner  was  undecided.  He  had  not 
learned  to  reverence  it  much  when  he 
met  its  representative  face  to  face  at 
Orvieto,  and  he  had  given  more  than 
tacit  acquiescence  when  obedience  was 
renounced  ;  but  of  late  under  the  Royal 
Supremacy  the  principles  of  Church  Order 
and  Doctrine  which  he  held  most  dear 
were  called  in  question,  and  he  may  have 
come  round  reluctantly  to  the  belief  that  in 
Rome  was  to  be  found  the  only  safeguard 
of  essential  truths.  Once  convicted  of  this, 
he  acted,  as  his  wont  was,  with  resolute 
decision  ;  he  encouraged  the  Queen  in  her 

desire  to  receive  the  Cardinal  Legate,  but 
did  not  allow  him  to  exercise  his  office  with- 
out such  formal  licence  as  might  safeguard 
national  rights.  He  publicly  confessed,  in 
his  famous  sermon  in  1 554,  his  own  share  in 
the  nation's  guilt,  affirming  even  that  Henry 
had  been  minded  towards  the  end  to  re- 
store the  papal  jurisdiction. 

With  the  restoration  of  Papal  authority 
under  Queen  Mary  coercive  measures 
against  heresy,  the  revival  of  old  penal  laws, 
followed  as  a  matter  of  course,  but  there  is 
no  evidence  that  Gardiner  had  any  liking 
for  the  cruel  work.  No  doubt  many  of  the 
earlier  sufferers  or  fugitives  from  persecu- 
tion, as  well  as  later  writers  influenced  by 
their  statements,  formed  a  very  different 
estimate  of  his  feelings.  To  Becon  he  was 
a  "  cruel  and  bloody  wolf,"  or  "  lurking  like 
a  lion  in  his  den  that  he  might  murder 
the  innocent."  To  Ponet,  who  took  his 
place  awhile  at  Winchester,  he  was  "the 
great  devil  and  cut-throat  of  England." 
Bale  the  foul-mouthed  was  content  to 
call  him  "wily  gagling  Winchester."  By 
Latimer  and  Ridley  he  was  referred  to  as 
Diotrephes.  Froude,  accepting  all  these 
prejudiced  views,  regards  him  as  "the  in- 
carnate expression  of  the  fury  of  the 
ecclesiastical  faction"  (vi,  197),  yet  it  ap- 
pears that  he  had  tried  to  save  Frith  when 
brought  to  trial  in  1533,  only  to  have  his 
kindness  of  demeanour  described  by  Fox 
as  "  cruel  hypocrisy."  The  tragedy  of 
Barnes  and  others  in  1546  has  been  im- 
puted to  him,  but  he  stood  bail  for  him 
when  he  was  first  in  trouble,  and  though 
called  by  him  "a  garden  cock  who  deserved 
to  be  whipped  like  a  schoolboy  for  his 
ignorance  of  grammar,"  after  two  hours  of 
disputation  he  promised  at  Barnes'  request 
to  take  him  to  his  home  and  allow  him  sixty 
pounds  a  year.  He  tried  indeed  to  do  so,  but 
Barnes  would  not  stay,  on  which  Bale  writes 
that  "  he  made  Barnes  his  scholar,  and  put 
him  into  a  schoolhpuse  called  the  Tower, 
and  whipped  him  with  a  whip  of  fire  till  he 
had  pounded  him  to  ashes."  Latimer  com- 
plained in  1 546  that  his  troubles  had  been 
largely  due  to  the  "  malice  of  Winchester," 


to  which  Gardiner  replied,  "You  do  me 
much  wrong, — for  your  person  I  have  loved, 
favoured,  and  done  much  for  you  "  When 
Bradford  in  1555 .  reproached  him  with 
cruelty,  he  answered  quietly  that  he  had 
been  often  challenged  for  being  too  gentle 
as  a  judge  ;  Bonner  and  others  present 
confirmed  his  statement.  He  would  willing- 
ly have  had  Cranmer  spared,  though  he 
could  not  but  feel  sorely  his  own  treatment 
at  the  Archbishop's  hands,  or  fail  to  resent 
his  eager  advocacy  of  novel  changes. 

From  the  prominence  of  his  official  rank 
he  was  forced  to  take  a  leading  part  in  the 
religious  trials.  His  natural  vehemence  of 
temper  had  grown  perhaps  more  hasty  and 
overbearing  under  the  strain  of  his  im- 
prisonment, and  his  examination  of  the 
accused  is  not  an  edifying  record.  But 
their  taunts  and  unseemly  personalities 
were  hard  to  bear.  The  treatise  de  vera 
obedientia,  which  had  been  well  nigh  for- 
gotten for  twenty  years,  was  issued  in  a 
translation,  apparently  by  Bale,  with  a 
preface  purporting  to  be  by  Bonner,  and  in 
the  trials  the  principles  which  he  had 
renounced  were  flung  often  in  his  face. 
He  was  passionate  in  argument,  when  thus 
"prettily  nipped  and  touched"  (Fox),  but 
his  stormy  language  was  more  likely  to 
silence  dangerous  speech  than  to  extract 
confessions  of  heretical  beliefs. 

He  had  written  to  the  Protector  Somerset 
to  deprecate  the  issue  of  new  regulations 
which  would  have  to  be  enforced,  adding 
that  "  punishments  are  not  pleasant  to 
those  that  have  the  execution  of  them." 
In  that  spirit  he  refused  at  times,  like 
others  of  his  brethren,  to  take  action  when 
the  justices  delivered  reputed  heretics  to 
.the  ordinaries  to  be  further  dealt  with, 
though  the  Queen  and  her  husband  re- 
monstrated with  the  bishops  for  their  lack 
of  persecuting  zeal. 

If  we  turn  to  his  treatment  of  political 
offenders  it  is  true  that  after  Wyatt's 
insurrection  he  advised  that  severer 
measures  should  be  taken ;  it  is  not  true, 
as  Fox  and  Strype  and  Froude  have  stated, 

that  he  urged  that  no  more  mercy  should 
be  shewn,  but  that  "  true  mercy  should  be 
shewn  to  the  whole  body  politic  by  cutting 
off  the  diseased  members."  Nor  is  it  fair 
to  represent  him  as  the  ruthless  enemy  of 
Elizabeth,  though  Fox  could  say  that 
"whatsoever  danger  of  death  she  was  in, 
it  did  no  doubt  proceed  from  the  bloody 
bishop  who  was  the  cause  thereof  .  .  .  and 
if  a  writ  came  down  from  certain  of  the 
Council  for  her  execution,  it  is  out  of  con- 
troversy that  wily  Winchester  was  the  only 
Daedalus  and  framer  of  that  engine."  In 
a  moment  of  irritation  he  exclaimed  perhaps 
that  "  as  long  as  she  was  alive  there  would 
be  no  hope  of  tranquillity " ;  but  the  well- 
informed  Ambassador  of  Spain  frequently 
complained  in  his  despatches  that  Gardiner 
protected  her  from  being  brought  to  trial, 
and  was  constantly  delaying  matters,  in 
hope  that  it  might  be  possible  to  save  her, 
even,  as  the  Queen  suspected,  withholding 
evidence  against  her  (Tytler  ii,  384). 

For  the  alliance  with  Philip  of  Spain  he 
had  evidently  no  liking,  and  when  forced 
to  yield  to  the  Queen's  wishes  he  drew  up 
the  conditions  of  the  marriage  treaty  in 
such  terms  as  to  safeguard  the  rights  and 
liberties  of  the  English  nation,  and  to 
exclude  foreigners  from  State  employments. 
He  had  it  ratified  by  Parliament,  before 
which  he  boasted  that  England  was  brought 
under  no  yoke,  but  had  acquired  Philip 
with  his  kingdom.  He  stood  resolutely  at 
his  post  in  those  troubled  times,  and 
struggled  manfully  with  disease  and  weak- 
ness. The  French  Ambassador  found  him 
"livid  with  jaundice  and  bursting  with 
dropsy,"  but  he  talked  with  him  calmly  and 
graciously,  and  walked  with  him  through 
three  saloons  to  show  himself  to  the  people 
who  thought  that  he  was  dead.  But  soon 
the  end  came  (November  i3th,  1555).  Some 
poor  fragments  of  the  body  were  taken  to 
the  Church  of  St.  Mary  Overies,  but  the 
rest  was  carried  in  great  state  to  Winchester, 
where  he  had  taken  part  in  the  royal 
marriage  in  the  preceding  year.  There  his 
own  Cathedral  received  for  final  rest  the 
last  of  the  long  series  of  statesmen-bishops. 


What  was  said  by  Melanchthon  of  the 
English  bishops  at  the  negotiations  of 
Wittenberg — "they  have  no  relish  of  our 
philosophy  and  sweetness  " — was  true  cer- 
tainly of  Gardiner  ;  he  had  no  taste  for 
dogmas  and  translations  made  in  Germany, 
including  that  of  his  own  book. 

He  was  indeed  no  obscurantist.  Fox 
even  allows  him  "excellent  learning";  he 
had  views  about  the  pronunciation  of  Greek 
vowels,  which  he  tried  as  Chancellor  to 
force  on  Cambridge ;  there  was  some 
reason  in  those  days  of  arbitrary  changes 
for  his  list  of  Latin  words  which  he  pro- 
posed to  retain  in  the  translation  of  the 

There  was  little  delicacy  of  moral  sense 
in  his  diplomacy  to  further  the  divorce,  nor 
was  there  much  proof  of  sympathy  for 
Wolsey's  fall,  or  of  efforts  in  his  favour, 
but  he  made  himself  beloved  by  his  whole 
household,  for  they  spared  no  efforts  to 
free  him  from  imprisonment,  vainly  impor- 
tuning the  members  of  the  Council,  and 
urging  the  Lord  Chancellor  to  exhibit  a  bill 
in  Parliament  for  his  relief. 

His  was  a  masterful  and  resolute  nature, 
than  which  no  stronger  came  forward  in 
those  troubled  times  ;  embittered,  it  may 
be,  by  the  illegalities  of  the  Protectorate, 
and  by  the  opposition  of  trimmers  like 
Paget  in  the  Council,  who  complained  that 
he  carried  matters  through  "by  fire  and 
blood "  ;  easily  stung  by  taunts  of  incon- 
sistency which  he  found  it  hard  to  justify 
to  himself;  passionate  often  and  over- 
bearing, but  not  the  cruel  and  vindictive 
persecutor  who  appears  in  the  pages  of 
Fox  and  of  much  later  writers,  and  it  was 
hard  that  he  should  have  been  branded  as 
the  chief  and  guilty  cause  of  the  horrors 
that  were  largely  due  to  the  callousness  of 
Henry,  to  the  submissiveness  of  Parliament, 
and  the  implacable  temper  of  Queen  Mary. 

Stephen  Gardiner,  the  University  Man. 

Stephen  Gardiner  occupies  so  large  a 
space  in  political  and  ecclesiastical  history 
that  it  is  often  forgotten  that  he  was  for 
twenty-seven  or  twenty-eight  years  Master 
of  a  College  in  Cambridge,  and  for  eleven 
years  Chancellor  of  the  University.  The 
great  Bishop  of  Winchester,  the  King's 
Secretary,  the  Queen's  Chancellor,  whose 
income  was  somewhere  about  .£3000  a  year 
as  Bishop ;  who  by  easy  stages  could  travel 
from  Bishop's  Waltham  to  Winchester,  from 
Winchester  to  Farnham,  from  Farnham  to 
Esher  (till  Henry  VIII  annexed  this  last 
house),  from  Esher  to  Winchester  House, 
resting  each  night  in  a  stately  house  of  his 
own,  kept  the  poor  lodging  which  was  his  as 
Master  of  Trinity  Hall,  and  the  £6.  ly.  4,d. 
a  year  which  was  all  the  Master  received 
beyond  his  commons  if  in  residence.  Nor 
need  we  attribute  this  to  the  motive  which 
made  Wolsey  cling  to  his  few  trusses  of 
hay  from  the  Hereford  stall.  Gardiner 
looked  upon  it  as  a  place  of  retirement  in 
case  of  need,  and  declared,  "  that  if  all  his 
palaces  were  blown  down  by  iniquity,  he 
would  honestly  creep  into  this  poor  shell." 

He  seems  to  have  cared  for  the  College 
where  he  was  educated.  Trinity  Hall,  the 
College  of  Scholars  of  the  Hall  of  the  Holy 
Trinity  of  Norwich,  often  called  "Trinity 
College  "  as  late  as  Elizabeth's  reign,  was  a 
College  of  Civilians  and  Canon  Lawyers. 
It  was  but  a  small  College,  but  Ecclesi- 
astical Judges,  Admiralty  Officials,  and  the 
Diplomatic  Service,  as  we  should  call  it, 
were  largely  recruited  from  it.  Gardiner 
was  educated  there,  and  there  took  his 
degree  of  Doctor  of  Canon  Law  in  1520, 
and  of  Civil  Law  in  1521.  If  he  was  born 
in  1483,  he  must  have  gone  up  rather  older 
than  was  usual.  He  was  engaged  in  teach- 
ing at  the  University,  besides  being  tutor 
to  the  sons  of  the  Duke  of  Norfolk.  One 
of  these,  Lord  William  Howard,  afterwards 
the  first  Lord  Howard  of  Effingham,  Lord 
High  Admiral  and  Ambassador,  was  his 
pupil  at  the  College.  Wriothesley,  later 
Earl  of  Southampton  and  Chancellor  ; 



Paget,  Secretary  to  Henry  VIII,  and  Lord 
Privy  Seal  to  Mary  ;  May,  President  of 
Queen's,  who  died  as  Archbishop-designate 
of  York  in  1560;  and  Thirlby,  Bishop  in 
succession  of  Westminster,  Norwich,  and 
Ely,  Politician  and  Ambassador,  were 
among  his  pupils  before  he  became  great 
himself  as  a  Politician  and  a  Bishop.  A 
different  conception  of  Gardiner  from  that 
which  usually  prevails  is  given  us  by  Strype's 
words,  "the  learned  Gardiner's  family,  the 
very  seat  of  eloquence  and  of  the  Muses." 
This  was  written  with  reference  to  Paget, 
one  of  "his  family,"  who  was  a  learned  man, 
and  lectured  at  Cambridge  before  going 
into  public  life. 

Gardiner  was  the  first  lecturer  on  Sir 
Robert  Rede's  foundation  in  1524,  and 
was  elected  Master  of  the  college  in  1525. 
In  1540,  when  he  was  a  great  man,  he  was 
made  Chancellor  of  the  University.  As 
such  of  course  he  followed  a  conservative 
religious  policy,  but  he  pursued  no  one  to 
the  death,  and  the  one  martyr  among  the 
fellows  of  his  own  college,  Thomas  Bilney, 
suffered  in  Norfolk,  and  Gardiner  had 
nothing  to  do  with  his  trial.  In  1529,  after 
he  had  become  master,  Latimer,  already  a 
reformer,  was  allowed  to  preach  in  St. 
Edward's  Church,  which  belonged  entirely 
to  the  College  ;  and  Gardiner  himself 
translated  the  Gospels  of  St.  Luke  and 
St.  John  for  Cranmer's  Bible.  Gardiner's 
most  obstructive  act  as  Chancellor  was 
opposing  the  reformed  pronunciation  of 
Greek,  wherein  he  was  more  in  the  wrong 
than  those  whom  he  opposed. 

He  did  at  this  time  a  substantial  service 
to  his  college.  North  of  the  buildings  of 
Trinity  Hall  a  public  lane  ran  down  to  the 
river,  right  under  the  wall  of  the  College. 
North  of  this  was  a  strip  of  waste  ground  ; 
north  of  this  was  Michael  House.  Henry 
VIII  was  planning  the  foundation  of  Trinity 
College,  to  absorb  Michael  House  among 
other  older  foundations,  and  was  projecting 
a  college  on  a  very  magnificent  scale.  It 
was  destined  to  overtop  other  colleges  in 
Cambridge,  and  was  likely  to  literally  over- 
top Trinity  Hall  on  the  north  side.  Gardiner 

employed  his  influence  as  Chancellor,  and 
his  purse  as  Bishop  of  Winchester,  to  buy 
the  intervening  bit  of  waste  land  from  the 
town,  a  few  feet  more  from  Michael  House, 
and  to  induce  the  town  to  consent  to  the 
diversion  of  the  right  of  way  from  under 
the  windows  of  his  college  to  the  north 
side  of  the  ground  so  acquired,  where  it 
still  runs  as  Garret  Hostel  Lane.  The 
intervening  ground  he  enclosed  by  a  wall 
from  the  lane,  and  made  it  into  a  Fellows' 
garden.  The  whole  was  completed  in  1545, 
within  a  year  of  the  formal  institution  of 
Trinity  College.  Had  he  been  less  prompt 
this  waste  ground  would  ultimately  no 
doubt  have  been  acquired  by  Trinity 
College,  and  the  buildings  of  what  is  now 
Trinity  New  Court  would  have  domineered 
over  the  Hall  from  the  other  side  of  an 
unsavoury  lane  ten  feet  wide. 

In  1549  he  did  his  part  in  averting 
graver  trouble.  The  University  Com- 
mission of  the  Regency  proposed  the 
amalgamation  of  Clare  and  Trinity  Hall  in 
one  College,  to  be  called  King  Edward's 
College,  for  the  training  of  civilians  to 
advise  the  Council  in  London.  We  know 
how,  apart  from  the  loss  of  their  in- 
dividuality, the  two  Colleges  would  have 
seen  some  of  their  property  sticking  in  the 
hands  of  the  Crown  and  its  servants.  King 
Edward  would  have  been  made  to  pose  as 
a  pious  Founder,  and  the  association  of  the 
Church  of  St.  Edward,  King  and  Martyr, 
would  have  added  colour  to  the  fiction. 
The  danger  was  so  imminent  that  the 
Fellows  of  Clare  divided  the  College  plate 
among  themselves  for  fear  of  the  worst. 
Gardiner  was  in  the  Tower,  but  was  still 
Master.  He  wrote  a  strong  remonstrance 
against  the  destruction  of  his  College.  He 
might  not  have  prevailed  had  not  Latimer 
been  a  Clare  man,  and  Paget  and  May 
been  on  the  Commission.  At  all  events 
the  scheme  was  dropped,  and  some  of  the 
Clare  plate  came  back  into  the  common 
stock.  An  inventory  of  the  property  of 
Trinity  Hall,  made  soon  after  Gardiner's 
death,  shows  one  silver  cup  certainly  and 
perhaps  four  others,  and  fourteen  volumes 


in  the  library,  which  still  exist,  though 
most  of  the  plate  and  books  of  his  time 
have  disappeared.  Gardiner  was  probably 
deprived  of  the  Mastership  in  1551  ;  his 
successor  was  appointed  by  the  Crown,  not 
the  College,  in  1552,  and  it  was  in  1551 
that  he  was  deprived  of  the  Chancellorship. 
He  was  restored  as  Master  by  Mary  in 
I553i  not  re-elected,  as  the  Dictionary 
N.  B.  says,  and  died  as  Master.  He  left 
the  College  ^100  in  his  will.  The  portrait 
at  Wolvesey,  an  engraving,  called  Gardiner, 
is  a  portrait  of  Bishop  Home  Gardiner's 

contemporary  portrait  is  in  the  College, 
done  by  a  painter  of  Holbein's  School. 
The  late  Bishop  Thorold  had  a  copy  of  it 
made  for  Farnham.  When  Gardiner  died 
his  College  was  represented  in  the  higher 
ranks  of  the  Government  by  himself  as 
Lord  Chancellor,  Lord  Howard  of  Effing- 
ham  Lord  Admiral,  Paget  in  the  Council 
but  not  yet  Privy  Seal,  and  Thirlby  an 
Ambassador.  Mary's  Government  was  not 
great  nor  successful,  but  these  four  repre- 
sented the  best  part  of  its  ability,  and  not 
the  least  part  of  such  honesty  as  it  had. 

H.  E.  MALDEN. 


Stephens,  W.  R.  Wood  (William 
Richard  Wood),  1839-1902. 
The  bishops  of  Winchester 


39    QUEEN'S    PARK